Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My Favorite Beads!

While I truly enjoy and appreciate all beads, I am particularly fond of the flower ones, and while I really like the flower ones, my hands-down favorites are these. I've been working on some charms lately (more on that in a later post), and I got part of my inspiration for the charms' design from these. In fact, I specifically chose these flower beads for this special project because I like them so much. I go back to these all the time because of their rich color (which varies from light to deeper shades, by the way). They also have little bubbles in them from time to time which make them particularly endearing. Surely, everyone who crafts must have a favorite item they keep going back to or particularly enjoy working with: a favorite yarn, a favorite paper print, a favorite glitter, a favorite colored pen, etc. What is your favorite item to create with?

Not Just a New Year but a New DAY!

Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah. (Psalm 68:19). A year is one day shy of being past, and a fresh new one is on the horizon. If I wanted to, I could really whine about all of the difficulties and disappointments of the past year--we all could do that. Difficulties and struggles are part of life. I had them last year...and they will most definitely come this year, as they will to everyone. But, as the Bible verse above says, we are LOADED with benefits every DAY from the Lord. Yes, some especially difficult days I might have to sit and consciously think about what those benefits and blessings are; however, shame on me if I dwell on the negatives and not on the blessings given daily by the Lord. Besides, there have been many difficulties that, once were past, I could look back on and see what I learned from them and how they made me a stronger person (yes, another "benefit"!). I'm thankful this verse doesn't say "yearly" in place of "daily". That might mean there could possibly be many, many days within each year without any blessings or benefits! As our minds focus on the new year ahead, let's not forget to break our year down into days and being thankful for each fresh new day full of blessings.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cupcake Extravaganza!

Just the title of this sounds fun. What could be more fun than a cupcake? They are sweet and small and pretty. Mmmmmm! And an extravaganza? It can only mean an exciting, jovial celebration. Another secret.....I have contributed a cupcake-themed brooch to be given away during the event. BUT, I'm not going to spoil their fun and give you a picture of it on here, so please check out the Mammalicious Finds Cupcake Extravaganza on their blog--->

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Snowflakes for the Windows!

With the onset of winter...and all of it's snowy days...I have a tradition, I guess it is now becoming, of putting up snowflakes in our windows from the beginning of winter to spring's first arrival (my kids love helping put them up). I think there are few other of God's creations more delicate, detailed, sparkly, and beautiful than the snowflake (just can't resist anything that sparkles!). You know, snow could have been black or orange or some other depressing and stressful color, but, no, God allowed snow to glisten white to brighten up the dull, brown world until the first few tender red buds and green blades are seen...and beautiful colors return once again. I've collected snowflakes for many years now--some glass and some acryllic--and love adorning our windows with them each year during these bleak months. When the sun shine makes it's way around our house and shines through these snowflakes, spectrums are scattered in each room at different times of the day with little bursts of color to brighten up our wintry days.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

You Only Have Until Monday, December 29, to Sign Up!

For all of you "dyed in the wool" romantics out there...this is a swap you must sign up for! The name of it, the button...everything speaks romantic and pretty and fun. BUT, those who want to participate must do so by Monday! You may either click on the button to the right or click here to go to Heidi's blog>>>>>>

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Check out Milk and Cookeez Giveaway!

A new but dear friend, Tammy of Milk and Cookeez, is offering a fun giveaway on her blog called the "9 Days of Giveaways in 2009". She is offering one goodie--one a day--from 9 different vendors during the first 9 days of January 2009. What a clever idea! Now for a secret....shhhhhh...I'm giving away a super sparkly charm in her giveaway...BUT you need to check out her blog for all the details-----> I don't want to spoil any of her fun.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Victoria Magazine--January/February 2009 Issue

You know, I really think Victoria magazine is getting better and better. Even their advertisements are pretty (just LOVE looking at the georgeous gems in the Van Atkins Jewelers ads every issue!). The Valentine cookies on page 25 are beautiful. It would take me a lot of work to make a cookie that even looks close to that beautiful. The swan bed left me, well, speechless to say the least. My brother has been a philatelic for years and years (referring to the postal history article). He recently acquired an envelope with an old stamp on it, and the address on it to was to the Minnesota Territory which both he and I found very interesting. The article on D. Blumchen & Co. was beautifully inspiring, and I can't wait to try my hand at the petit fours recipie (minus the Grand Mariner--I don't do alcoholic beverages even for cooking). I have included pictures of an ironstone teapot, a Pankhurst "stone china" one, that my grandmother gave me and my ink wells (articles are written about both types of items in this issue). The ink wells are broken at the top because these of old had to be broken in order to get the ink out. I bought one of them in New Zealand at an antique store. It was a most enjoyable read all the way through. Good job, Victoria!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Romantic Homes Magazine--Crowns

What better way to mark my 100th post on this blustery, snowy day than to mention the January Romantic Homes article "Crowning Achievements". I so enjoyed it. What a fun thing to read about! I don't think a person can add enough *sparkle* to themselves or their homes, and adding a few crowns around would be such fun. The only crown we have up in our house is in my daughter's room holding a swag and centered over her window. It is a cheap one from the kid's section of the store, but it has plenty of "gems" to add pretty sparkles in the room of my little princess. The ones in this article are definitely more "grown-up"...but do we ever really grow up? My favorite ones in the article are on page 61, especially the one under the cloche. I wish we could have seen Alys's favorite one--the "tattered purple-velvet lined life-size jeweled crown." But I'm glad for the ones we DID see.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Design Your Own Tartan!

Aren't tartans interesting? Some of them can be so very pretty. I find it fascinating that people across the pond could once tell what family you were from just by looking at what plaid you were wearing. I have had several pretty plaid skirts and scarves in the past, and remember making it a goal to buy a kilt (got two!) while visiting England years ago in high school on a singing tour (would go back in a heart beat if we had the money). I never dreamed of designing my very own plaid...until I ran across Tartan Maker ( I created the lovely, colorful tartan that you see here on their site. Mmmmm, perhaps I shall name it the "Glass Bead Treasure" tartan or the "Tumbling Rose Cottage" tartan. Someday soon when I am snowed in and have absolutely nothing else to do, I'd like to play with this maker more. If you want some guaranteed creative fun, go to Tartan Maker, and, well, design your own any colors, with any sized bands, with as many bands as you wish, and going horizontally or vertically! Best of all it is free. What creative fun!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Lovely Lollishop Find

I wish I could put a picture here...but I don't want to get myself into trouble! I found a lovely little teapot on Lollishops. I put "teapot" into the "search" section on the front page of Lollishops and found a little Sadler miniature teapot complete with tiny pink roses all over it. It is simply adorable! You know how I love little things...and roses...and anything "tea." It was natural then for me to search for and find this little teapot. You may view it by clicking here-->Sadler Miniature China Teapot Roses. The shop selling this little darling is Corn Street Vintage which sells many pretties. Why not check out the search button for yourself, which is very easy to use by the way, at Lollishops and while you are there stop by Corn Street Vintage.

Wintertime Charm Giveaway Winner!

Thank you to everyone who commented and entered my giveaway. I learned a lot! My husband had the fun part of picking the name from the bowl, and the winner is....******drum roll, please******....Pink & Posh! Good for you Jeri! I hope you enjoy it. Who is Jeri, you ask? Well, if you happen to not have found her yet in your travels to pretty on-line places, why not visit her website The Sweet Bowtique or her fun blog Pink & Posh.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Final Day for the Wintertime Charm Giveaway

Many thanks to those few lovely people who HAVE signed up for my giveaway....but there is plenty of time for you to leave a comment too. Today is the last day! Please leave a comment on the post below. The giveaway ends today at midnight!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wintertime Charm Giveaway!

I was going to wait until the long, drawnout month of January arrives. I was going to wait until my 100th post (but 5 shy isn't too bad)...but I just couldn't wait! It is just such great fun to GIVE, so here it is. It is a mini version of the Wintertime Brooch available in my Lollishop shop ( It is a charm featuring icy blue and rich cobalt glass bead flowers complete with a Swarovski crystal butterfly. It comes with the lanyard shown so that if you wish you may clip it onto whatever is convenient--like a sweater zipper or purse loop--or take the lanyard off to simply use as a charm. The rules: Please leave a comment here 1) stating whether or not you like the idea of my including a lanyard with a charm and/or if you would use the lanyard and 2) an e-mail address (ONLY so that I may get ahold of you if you win) if one is not included in your blog profile. Comments may be made until midnight December 16. I will choose the winner and probably mail it out on December 17. Please tell others about this so that they may enter as well. Thanks!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mariner Compass Star Quilting Tool

For those who quilt (which I do not), apparently the Mariner Compass Star pattern is especially tricky. I hear it is hard to make the points perfectly pointed and even, and thus the pattern is especially difficult and few want to tackle a quilt featuring it. My dear sister-in-law, Debby, is a pastor's wife, mother, teacher, and quilting instructor (her passionate hobby) living in New Zealand. She has quilted for years and years and has developed and patented a tool which turns making a quilt featuring the Mariner Compass Star a snap. If you are a quilter or know someone who is, take a look at her I know she is working on at least one other tool at the moment as well. While visiting her site, check out her gallery. She is extremely talented, and her work is incredible.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Supplying our Needs

I know times are tight for many people, and they are for us as well. The fall and early winter always seem especially tight for us, and this year is no exception. Property taxes are due, more fuel is being used, things that we must purchase end up costing much more than expected, etc. You know how it is. We do not receive year-end bonuses. Not everyone does, you know. Those of you who do receive one or whose spouse receives one, please remember to be especially thankful for this. I am reminded of this Bible verse and quote it's promise in prayer when things are especially tight--But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19). How thankful I am to serve a God who certainly DOES take care of us! Lately we have gone without many wants, but God has always supplied our needs. It amazes me sometimes just how He does this---i.e. a bill gets paid for in a unique way or a little money from an unexpected source comes in. You know, some of those wants we really could live without anyway....and when a "want" does come our way? Well, we feel soooo wealthy! It is truly comforting and gives me great peace to know that I serve a Lord who loves me AND takes care of my family and me. To God be the glory!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

PeiLi's Minatures--Adorably Compelling!

Little, itty bitty things are so compelling! I'm definitely drawn to, as I've blogged about before, things that look exactly like they do when they are regular size only much smaller. Like the miniature Bible I've blogged about. It is leather with little onion-type paper pages. In every way it looks like a typical Bible one would read from every day and carry to church on Sunday only it is about 1-1/4" x 1-3/4" in size. So, it is not unusual that I'm drawn to the work of fellow Lollishop vendor, PeiLi, at Her things are adorable. If I were a doll, I would definitely want to own a sweet shop or a tea room and carry her line of "sweets"! Sweets and treats are fun to look at no matter what--but in miniature they look even more irresistable! Also, how about a look on her blog,

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Picnik IS a Picnic

Do you ever finish something, then find it has to be changed after you have burned all of your bridges? I made a pretty banner for my Lollishop. It took me a long time because, well, I'm just not that computer saavy...and I'm I had to do it myself which is why I went through Bannersketch (they allowed me to do a wonderful job--they are great as well). Perhaps someday I will purchase Photoshop or Dreamweaver or whatever the cool graphics software is to create my own totally lovely banners and bits someday. Or, perhaps I'll just pay someone to do all of the work and changes for me. But, we'll save that for another post! So...back to Picnik. I had to add something to the banner I already made. Some kind person on the Lollishops forum suggested going to Picnik to upload my banner and just add "Click on banner to enter shop" to the already existing banner. They actually let you do that...and I did that. Talk about slick and easy...and pretty (see my Lollishop for the final result if you'd like). I'm delighted. Best of all it was free. The very least I can do is toot Picnik's horn a little bit and give them kudos via my blog. Kudos to you Picnik (!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Golden Beaded Purse

This particular beaded purse, which looked as if it had hardly ever been used, I got at an estate sale a few years back. I found out the people were asking $4, and I actually put it down thinking it was too much! Then I reconsidered and got it. I'm so thankful I did. It goes wonderfully with the golden colors of my bedroom where I have it slung over a mirror. It seems to shimmer and shine no matter what the lighting is like. It is ous and romantic and pretty all at once. Purses such as these--especially those antique, beautiful, expensive ones with the floral beadwork on them--are part of the inspiration for my glass bead jewelry. Perhaps someday I will be able to collect more of these sparkling beauties.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My Favorite Calendar

When I flipped my calendar to December, the thought occurred..."I'll be needing a new calendar soon!" It is hard to believe that 2008 is almost past. I put my calendar on a wall between my kitchen and living room, so it must be very decorative and a clear expression of who I am and what I like--almost like a piece of art I'd put in a permanent place on my wall. One from Joe's Garage or a complete year of trophy deer pictures with tips on hunting them are just not going to work for me! My hands-down favorite is The Collectible Teapot & Tea Calendar by Workman Publishing. I will be most sad should these lovely calendars ever become a thing of the past. Every month for many years now I have enjoyed incredibly beautiful, gorgeously displayed teapots--unique, whimsical, elegant, antique, etc--usually displayed with a teatime treat and a layout "theme" that perfectly compliments the teapot. Joni Miller and photographer Martin Brigdale do a fabulous job with quality photograpy and deeply interesting scenes. You feel as if you are right there enjoying tea with someone. Each month is a feast for the eyes not to mention informative with historical accounts, tidbits, famous sayings, and more. There is no better calendar in my opinion.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Lollishops Shop is Now Open--Free Gift to First Customer!

Yes, it's true! I'm thrilled after all of these weeks to now say it is up and running. Many heartfelt thanks to Sadie and her computer crew for all of their creativity and hard work to make this a reality this past weekend. I have taken many of the things I had on eCrater and transferred them to Lollishops and have also put some new pieces on Lollishops too. To the first customer to purchase anything from me on Lollishops goes the charm you see above, an "orange-flavored" lollipop to honor the marketplace. I'm looking forward to the widget (I believe I read) I'll be able to put on here in the future, but until then, the address of my shop is Please stop by...and please do stay awhile to visit the other fabulous vendors as well. You won't be disappointed!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

"Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow..."

As the beginning of this hymn says, I am so thankful to God for all of His incredible blessings and want to give Him the glory for it! He has given me personal assurance of heaven when I die and grace until I reach there; a Bible to read in my language that offers comfort and direction; a patient, sweet, and loving husband; beautiful children whom I adore; parents who love me and taught me right from wrong; a country to live in that has many freedoms thanks to many who gave their lives for them; a warm, lovely home; food on my table; clothes on my back; a little hobby/business that is fulfilling and fun and provides me the opportunity to give to others....the list is endless. I am truly blessed and very thankful. To God be the glory!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Banana-Oat Nut Bread with Cream Cheese

I love cream cheese and love to just nibble on a piece off of a knife. Yum! In fact, I remember my grandmother used to have celery with cream cheese stuffed into the cupped area of the stalk for family gatherings. What a way to get celery into a kid! Although...I confess to eating the cream cheese out of the cupped area and giving the celery back to my grandmother on occasion! That said, cream cheese on banana nut bread with a piping cup of tea is wonderful. What a way to wake up in the morning!

Below is the recipe I use. It is our hands-down favorite. It is not original (found it on, but I have tweaked the recipe to our own liking. Full of nuts (optional, of course) and oats, it is healthy and moist and yummy. You must use overripe or at the very least ripe bananas. I have found that otherwise the bread is just not as good. I have frozen overripe bananas (when I didn't have the time to cook the bread) and made the bread at a later time, but the cooking time will be a little longer because of the added moisture from the freezing.
Make a double batch and freeze the other bread or give it away to someone.
The whole house smells great while it bakes. Enjoy...and don't forget the cream cheese!

1/2 cup margarine
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe or overripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (more if you want it really nutty)

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly grease 9x5 loaf pan.
Cream together margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the banana and vanilla.
Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt in separate bowl. Beat into creamed mixture. Stir in oats and nuts. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 25-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"New" French-Inspired Brooch

This is a piece that I just wasn't happy with after completion, though I loved the idea behind it. It needed to be fuller, richer. So, this brooch has been "re-made", and I am much happier with it. It reminds me of something French--perhaps it is the dark blue and golden yellow combination reminding me of my Limoges teacups and saucers. Then again, it wouldn't take much for me to think of France!

Monday, November 24, 2008

First Snowfall

Every branch of every tree and bush looks as if it were coated with a layer of frosting-- pure, white, thick, and sparkling. After seeing browns and grays for so many weeks, what a delight this morning to see the first snowfall of the year here in southern Wisconsin...and a beautiful snowfall too!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

"Walking in the Air"

Yes, I've heard it before, and, yes, I love it...but it has been awhile. I like songs about snow because, well, we can sing and enjoy them through February at least (especially those of us who live in the North). We were on the way home today from my childrens' swimming lessons listening to "Classics by Request" on our public radio station. Someone had requested "Walking in the Air" (from The Snowman), and the "Celtic Woman" rendition was played--it was absolutely beautiful!! I'd highly recommend it if you want to get into the mood of snow in a beautiful way.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pretty Charm Added to eCrater

Why not show you this one as well? Here is a charm that I've also added this week. It has clear and pink swirled flower beads and a pretty Swarovski crystal butterfly. Hope you like it!

New Pendant Added to eCrater & All Organized

I have added a few new things to my eCrater shop--this little pendant is one of them! It has delicate pink bell flowers and a dark pink Swarovski crystal butterfly. Also, I have finally organized my picture files into the items I will be selling on eCrater and the items I will be selling on Lollishops. Once Lollishops is up and running completely, I will be taking some things off eCrater and putting them on Lollishops. BUT it feels good to be organized! It takes time but is always worth it. Lollishops is really progressing as the testers put their products on. How exciting! The best of wishes to them--and even many sales in the process--as they work out the system bugs.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Happy Birthday, Kathy!

What fun! It's Kathy's birthday today at Vintage Snaps and Scraps. She hosted a giveaway for her birthday, and I won 2nd prize. What a treat! Thanks to Kathy...and I wish her a great birthday. Stop by her blog and send her wishes too--

Monday, November 17, 2008

"Stained Glass" Leaves Project

I just love stained glass in any form or manner...and this is one of those "any forms or manners." This is not an original thought (thank you, Miriam, for your original craft idea that I could expand on and other tips) but quite lovely, I think. These "stained glass" leaves are made from watered down glue and tissue paper. I was looking for a unique, inexpensive way to send Thanksgiving wishes to relatives, and thought this would be a perfect idea to do with the kids. Here are the instructions:
1) Cut up tissue paper in the colors you wish.
2) Spread school glue around on tinfoil or a plastic base that glue won't stick to then mix in some water so that the tissue paper stays well saturated (squirt with extra water during the process if needed).
3) Place tissue paper on glue mixture at random or in pictures (ahhh, Notre Dame!) if you'd like. I layered mine down perhaps a little too much and very randomly. You could probably be more precise and lay just one or two layers of tissue down, overlapping to leave no holes once dry.
4) Let dry about two days.
5) Cut into leaf shapes (be careful, it rips easily).

You could really make some pretty "stained glass" projects like blue, white, purple and silver snowflakes for winter; pink and red hearts for Valentines' Day; multicolored flowers, etc. I used some gold tissue for extra sparkle. One could probably add some strips of metallic foil for even MORE sparkle (can a person really have ENOUGH sparkle??).

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Delicate Purple Bell Flowes Pendant

A new pendant has been created! It has clear dark purple and light, milk glass lavender bell flowers in a gold tone setting. I'll be putting it on eCrater soon, hopefully this weekend. Enjoy!

Pretty Victoriana Site

I really appreciate pretty websites especially since I'm not in the position to have a pretty one myself (though I once did!). It is such a pleasure to shop...if only to window shop...a lovely site. I have no idea who this lady is really, but she is starting a pretty shop (so it's not quite filled up yet). It is just lovely, and I'd like to encourage others to check it out . Enjoy "shopping" her site as I did!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

You know, I really thought I had blogged about these yummy cookies before, but, alas, I could not find I thought neither could anyone else! Besides, re-presenting these yummy, brownie-like cookies would be well worth it. The recipe is not original, in fact, it is from an old Hershey's cookbook (one of my favorite "old standby" cookbooks). I baked up a batch tonight for a church kids' function, and we now have only four left (one...maybe two...will be perfect with a cup of tea tomorrow). Here is the recipe. Bake and enjoy! P.S. Don't wear navy blue or black if you want to sneak a bite into one of these! ; )

2 cups of sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup Hershey's cocoa
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2-1/3 cups foour
2 tsp baking power
1/2 tsp salt
confectioners' sugar

Mix together sugar and oil. Add cocoa and blend well. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to cocoa mixture, blending well. Cover and chill at least six hours. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in confectioners' sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes or until almost no indentation remains when touched. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on wire rack. Makes about 4 dozen.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank you, dear Veterans!

I would be totally remiss if I didn't take a moment to thank everyone and anyone who has served or is serving in our armed forces. Without you we wouldn't enjoy the freedoms we have today. I give you my deepest, heartfelt, and sincerest certainly have my support! My grandfather retired from the military, and I know the sacrifices families pay while their loved ones are serving throughout the world, so many thanks to you, dear family members, for your sacrifices as well. May God bless you all.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Once-Again Clean Chandelier

I have one chandelier in our entire home (would love to have more). It is in our dining room which is a several-sided room, our "turret room" we call it. It has a ceiling that goes up to a point covered by wood. Our lovely chandelier dangles from the center. It is a difficult room to determine exactly how low the chandelier should hang...and it really is not low enough. That said, to clean it or change one of the bulbs is...mmmm, a challenge. It involves putting a ladder on our kitchen table then climbing the ladder to close to the top to clean the crystals and change those bulbs. I had just said to my family how I couldn't believe none of the bulbs have blown out since moving into our house four years ago...then two days later one blew out! Now there was no excuse not to clean it. Thankfully my dear husband got to the top of that ladder and helped clean it and change those bulbs. It looks like new now! Oh, how it sparkles, and I am reminded how lovely and beautiful chandeliers really are!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Pink Frosting Cupcake Charm

Here is my latest piece...once again inspired by Lollishops! There is nothing like a cupcake piled high with pink frosting covered in sprinkles...oh, and in a silver liner. Mmmmmm!

Post-election Biblical Reminder

I know, most people don't really care what the Bible says about anything, but I do! It is the basis of who I am and what I believe, and I'm not ashamed of it. Regardless of who won the election last night and why, thankfully the Bible, as always, puts things in perspective. Daniel 4:17 reminds us "...that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will..." Though most don't believe this, it doesn't matter WHO won...God is the one in charge of what goes on in the world that He created and allows certain rulers to lead for a reason (It is interesting though that in the many examples given in the Bible, whenever Israel strayed from serving God they had great difficulties.). It takes faith to trust in God, in His ways, and in His reasons without questioning why. As a final note Proverbs 21:1 says, "The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will."

Monday, November 3, 2008

Victoria Magazine and My Pomander Project

I remember many times while visiting my grandmother she would be "working on" an orange--sticking holes in it with a large, thick needle then inserting whole cloves. I always thought it was rather a curious thing, but, you know, I don't ever remember asking her much about it for some reason. I just remembered how great the oranges would smell. Mmmmmm! Fast forward decades to a few years ago when for some reason I did my own orange. I can't remember the inspiration behind it unfortunately. I thought I'd just stick my cloves in without the needle preparing the way. I dare say, my fingers were terribly sore by the end of the project! Then I read about and saw the lovely picture in the November/December 2008 issue of Victoria Magazine of a pomander made with an apple instead of an orange. Never heard of using an apple! Well, I had an apple that was shriveling and bought some cheap cloves (aren't as perfect as the ones in the picture--but mine were affordable!) and set to work yesterday at the pleasant task of making my apple pomander. The apple was much easier to poke the cloves in than an orange, and it smells fabulous. It is now drying, and I must say I'm glad I did it. It's such a pleasant project to tackle over a cup of tea...I recommend it to everyone!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Lollishops is Coming!

I'm pretty excited about the opening this month (though the Grand Opening will be in January) of Lollishops! I've already written about it and can hardly wait. Please visit the official Lollishops Blog at to see all of the exciting things coming. If you'd like to apply to be a vendor in the juried shopping place, please click on the button to the right that says "Submit Application" (please be sure to tell Sadie that Michele's Glass Bead Treasures sent you!). Enjoy!

Friday, October 31, 2008

If You Like Diamonds or Need Some Cards...

...PLEASE kindly check out the two special links to the right. You won't be disappointed with what these sponsors have to offer! Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Moment of Luminosity

Just why do we put up chandeliers and hang little crystals everywhere anyway? I was going over my daughter's violin lesson this morning, when she said, "Mommy...look!" We have a ceiling fan in our living room on which I hung some flea market crystals and crystal chain pulls. The sun was hitting one of the pulls with it's full strength. The pull magnificently glowed, and spectra lit up the ceiling. It's for moments of luminosity such as this why I and others decorate with sparkling crystals and chandeliers. These moments of beauty may be small and fleeting but are more than worth it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Flower and Crystal Butterfly Pendant

I found these beads of a most exquisite color in a bead shop last summer. There were only five left--and I can certainly understand why. I couldn't tell you their exact color. They aren't red or yellow or pink or orange. I see from the picture that yellow was pulled out of the glass by the camera, but if I absolutely HAD to put a color on them, I'd say it would be a sunset orange! I have also stitched olivine glass bead "leaves" and a clear Swarovski crystal butterfly complete with antennae and a "flight trail." Enjoy!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

When a Waverly Shower Curtain Speaks to You...

I was at a garage sale about 3 years ago and saw this Waverly shower curtain for $5. Did I need a shower curtain? No. Did I really want a shower curtain? No. Is $5 too much to spend on a shower curtain at a garage sale? Definitely. Did I want this shower curtain? Absolutely!! It "spoke" to me, and I bought it for $5. To justify buying it, I told myself I'd resell it on E-Bay. BUT, every time I thought about reselling it...I just couldn't. So, I put it in a plastic tub downstairs waiting for the precise moment in time when I'd have to totally redo my bathroom and be in dire need for a new showercurtain. THEN...sorry, I can't remember which one...I read in a Romantic Country article about someone suggesting turning a shower curtain into a tablecloth. ***LIGHT BULB GOES ON*** Perfect! Well, I finally found my sewing machine and find the one bobbin in the entire house to go with it, snipped, sewed, and, WOW, I now have a beautiful new table cloth! So, the moral of this story is...if a shower curtain (or anything else really) "speaks" to you...get it! You will use and enjoy it eventually.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

New Backgrounds...Again!

You might notice that my pictures have once again taken on a different look and feel. It was very nicely suggested by Sadie of Lollishops fame (she really is a remarkable person!) that I update my jewelry settings. So, I did some homework, looked at what other people were doing, and changed the settings. I thought the old books (I just love the look and feel of old books--more on that another time) set off the beautiful colors of the jewelry and gave the jewelry a Victorian/antique feeling. Of course, the fun things that I've been working on specifically for Lollishops as you can see below have been nestled in glass bead "pearls" inside a cupcake liner. What could be more fun or show the spirit of Lollishops more than a cupcake? I'm pleased with the outcome. Thanks for the gentle nudge, Sadie!

Overcome by Negativity?

It is amazing how much negativity there is going on out in the world? In the mail, on the news, from just talking to people--everything is so negative! The economy is terrible; prices for all necessities are going up; people running for election are bashing each other; whoever is elected will take away all of our freedoms and tax us out of all we own; businesses will fail; religious liberties will be gone; crime is up; the weather will be worse than ever this year; the bird flu or cancer will be the demise of our families; etc., etc. Whew! I understand some things are reality and truth, and with information comes power and thus the ability or necessity to act wisely. However, all of the negativity can be just plain overwhelming! It can get us down...then what good are we?
This reminds me of a passage in I Samuel 30. David and his men had been out to battle. When they returned home, they found their wives and children were taken by an enemy, and the whole city had been burned. Oh, and they were exhausted from their battle! They "...lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep." (vs. 4) David's men were so distraught that they were even considering sending David to an early grave. Talk about about being down! Then the Bible says, "...but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God." (vs. 6) There was absolutely nothing else David could do but turn to God for his encouragement and peace. He couldn't even muster up enough oomph within himself to offer hope to his men--he had to turn to God for his strength. The account goes on to say that they were all able with God's direction and help to regain their families and eventually able to rebuild. Nehemiah 8:10 says, "...the joy of the LORD is your strength." There are so many things we can look to as blessings from God--as non-negative things. True there are some days that are so full of negativity that we have to make a conscious effort to count our blessings and be thankful for all of those little things---the beautiful redness of our maple tree; no colds in our family for three weeks; no bills in the mail today; our tummies are satisfied; we have winter coats; etc. And for those who know the Lord as their Saviour...there is the peace and promise of eternal life. Now how can one be full of negativity with that incredible promise!? With God's help and reading the Bible we can be encouraged, find positivity, and find hope to offer others in a such negative world. Proverbs 17:22 says, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones." Count your blessings, don't perpetrate negativity, and with the Lord's help have "a merry heart". If we all work on this today, I know it will impact us, our families, and countless others.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Thoughts on Romantic Country's Rachel Ashwell Article

It's funny how you get an idea of something...then read about it or see pictures of it and what you had imagined is NOT what you had imagined at all. I'm speaking of the latest issue of Romantic Country, and their article about Rachel Ashwell's home. It was not what I had expected. She says, "Less is more."and "Avoid anything frilly." These thoughts of hers were quite evident in her home. It seemed stark...almost cold. Other than the chandeliers, bedspread, and a few china pieces, I found her home quite unappealing and unwelcoming. It did not have the pretty elements that I thought her tastes had. Oh,'s her home, and as long as she is pleased with it that's what matters. But I confess to being somewhat disappointed. The following article..."Living in a Fairytale" had a bit more of what I had envisioned her tastes were--only not on such a widespread, ultra-pink scale! While the Bishop's home was much, much more feminine than I would ever imagine having (after all, I DO have to live with my guys)...there were some truly pretty attributes and beautiful things...gorgeous things! I especially liked the spray above the dining room chandelier. My sister-in-law did that in her first home. It really adds to the charm. My own dining room is not conducive to such a detail, so I especially appreciate it when I see it. Oh, and while I'm at it...the house in the following article "Tastefully Tuscan" is elegant in every possible way. It is such fun to look at other people's homes and take this and that from what you see and and incorporate it into your own home. Just some thoughts on articles from a fabulous magazine...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Wintry Brooch Now Available

I, no...I KNOW this is my favorite piece so far. I have seriously considered keeping it for myself, but I'd really like someone else to enjoy it. This could be a seasonal brooch--one can wear it for the entire winter season (November through February)--or simply for any time of the year when something pretty and blue is needed. It has frosty blue and cobalt flowers, clear and pearly glass beads, and a clear Swarovski crystal butterfly.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Lollishops Inspiration...

Oh, and by the way...this little brooch (the only thing I've worked on lately while guests have been here) is the direct result of inspiration from Lollishops! I'm thinking of giving it away in honor of Lollishops's Grand Opening...but more on that don't sign up now. Just check back in in November or January when I'll post the details.


There is a great thing happening, and I've been eager to blog about it. You know...there is Etsy, Ebay, eCrater, and others--all venues where people can sell what they make. Some require fees (some pretty big fees!) and others none (eCrater). Some have great exposure (Ebay) and some very little (eCrater). Well, there is a smart gal who is starting a similar venue for the selling of handmade wares called Lollishops ( It is an adorable site. It is a juried place for selling quality handcrafted items that are all of somewhat similar themes. The shops are not open yet--only the blog at this point. The opening date is somewhere at the end of November with the grand opening in January. There will be five categories from which to choose a lovely: Elegant Whimsy, Romantic Inspiriation (my section!), Fanciful Creations, Vintage Treasures, and Artistic Elements. I like the fact that you probably won't find ultra weird, contemporary modern, and ugly things in this venue. There are many members, and if you create beautiful things, I'd suggest applying on Lollishops to be approved to sell. I'm still getting the swing of Flickr, what a ning is, how to set up a shop, etc. But I'm getting it slowly. While I'm not allowed to reveal the pay structure, I assure you it is very, very reasonable. Kudos to "Sadie Lou Who" for coming up with this...and thanks for letting me be a part of this.

Getting back to things!

We've had guests for several weeks now--two different sets of guests over a course of four weeks. While it's been fun having them, I have had little time to blog or work on my glass bead hobby. Now that the house is settling back down again and though homeschooling will start up in earnest again, it is time to get back to things! I have been thinking of some new things to stitch and am eager to get going. I had a few moments and stitched a new brooch. More on that in another post.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Elegant Repurposing

My husband and I were in this lovely shop in Boothbay Harbor, Maine years ago. I can't remember the name of the shop, but I do remember all of the elegant and, yes, quite unaffordable things there. Then in the far back of the shop there was the 50% off shelf full of the one-of-a-kinds, soiled, orphaned, and other oddities for whoever was interested enough to take a glance. There I saw this teacup. It's saucer had broken, and so, though being an elegant Wedgwood, it sat on that shelf looking lonely and undesired without it's other half. My husband encouraged me to get it (very kind and sweet)...and so I did! I confess to not needing much coaxing to purchase it, but how does one serve proper tea in a proper teacup without it's saucer? Ah, repurposing! I have a fruit theme in my kitchen (more on that at another time), and this little teacup is now enjoying it's new life not as a teacup to be sipped from but, sitting on the corner of my kitchen sink, as a beautiful dish to hold my scrubby pad. It is used every day. It is seen every day. It is enjoyed every day. How could it wish for any different life than this?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

New Banner...Again...and Pretties.

Many, many thanks to Sara of Graphic Pretties. She had a contest on her blog, as she does each month I believe, to win a beautiful graphic creation of hers. I won (thank you again, Sara!), and she created two beautiful banners plus two floral pretties. Take a look at her blog and website if you are in the market for some truly lovely graphic designs.

Friday, September 26, 2008

New Lampshade is Finally Done

Remember? I had worked hard on a lampshade, spent lots of time...and just didn't like it? Well, here it is--reworked and redesigned. I like it much better. I must be happy with a piece in order to put it up for sale. It has multi-colored flowers in various sizes and styles, the colors of which truly compliment each other. The red flowers have Swarovski crystal beads in the centers to add an extra level of sparkle. I would enjoy this "home jewelry" in MY home, and hopefully others will say the same thing! Check out the lampshade's flowers up close on my eCrater site.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Redoing a Lampshade

I had this great idea in my head for a lampshade. I collected the beads and, although I had wanted to find a brighter pink flower bead, was pleased with how they looked together. I worked hard at stitching the beads on after planning the outlay. After a great deal of it was completed, I looked at the stitched lampshade...and...and...didn't like it! Gerrrrr! Is it a sign that I am a perfectionist, or is it just the way things SHOULD be? If I don't like what I create or it doesn't look like top quality, I am NOT happy with it. It simply must be torn apart and reworked. Well, that's exactly what I've done. You know, I almost felt relieved that I was redoing it. I am now in the process of reworking the pretty flower beads onto a new lampshade, and you know what? I am much happier with how it is turning out. I just wish these little episodes didn't take up so much valuable time and energy, but I MUST be happy with the outcome in order to put something up for sale. Stay tuned, the lampshade will be done soon and a picture will be posted on here within the week.

Bluebird Feathers!

Whether we want to admit it or not, we must confess that since childhood we have all had that pleasantly surprised and exhilarating feeling upon discovery of a feather on the ground. It is somewhat debatable whether or not we actually should pick up the feather or not (bugs? disease? who knows why this is debated really?), but regardless there is just something special about discovering a feather. A bird is so visually and audibly appealing, so colorful, so untouchable! A bird represents beauty, lightheartedness, fragile endurance, teamwork, and glorious freedom. To hold onto a tangible representation of these things can be most invigorating! Above you will see not one but TWO birdbird feathers. Bluebirds abound around there thankfully and are lovely and enjoyable in every way. I found both of these in two separate places--one out back of our house and the other at a park. What treasures! Joys like these money cannot buy. I shall keep them in my antique inkwell and think of the bluebirds fluttering around flowers and trees this winter down south whenever I come back in from shoveling snow. I will encourage myself that the pleasant bluebirds will indeed return next year...and perhaps leave another brilliant blue feather for me to add to my collection!