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.