Thursday, December 31, 2009

For the New Year....Remember Joseph

There are several "stories"--real, true accounts--in the Bible that I love reading. I may have read them many times, but they still send chills up my back and make me think. One is the story of Ruth. Talk about romantic! Dedication, honor, respect, love *sigh*...once I start the book of Ruth it's hard to put it down until its all read (at least it's a short book). The story of Joseph is another. I was reading it this morning. Jealousy, danger, lies, falsehood, character, forgiveness...The part where Joseph reveals himself to his brothers..."I am Joseph," in chapter 45 is so compelling! Talk about goosebumps! There are two lessons that I'm reminded of when I read about Joseph. The first thing is to stay true to God no matter what. Let's face it, Joseph would have had a pretty good excuse to blame God for how his brothers ganged up on him and sold him and he had to live his life as a slave in Egypt away from his family...not to mention that he was lied about and ended up in jail. However, through it all he was faithful and true and trusted God even when he could have easily done wrong (and no one would have known or cared!). What a good example of character! The second thing is that from the very beginning when his brothers were moved to jealousy all the way to going before Pharaoh to give God's interpretation of the dreams, the Lord's hand was in his life. God knew the future and prepared him all along the way--he ended up in Egypt (had to learn the language); the captain of the guard happened to buy him; he ended up in jail where he met the butler; he saved thousands of people from hunger.
The account of Joseph is a good one to think on as we ring in the new year. When times get rough, God's hand is in it for a reason even though things at the moment may seem unjust, unfair, or overly difficult. God knows the future and is shaping and preparing us for things we don't yet know about. Also, no matter what, have character and be faithful to God no matter what the circumstances and whether anyone knows or not. It will always be worth it in the end.

Monday, December 28, 2009

New Floral Dragonfly Brooch

My mother challenged me to make a dragonfly, so I looked at the beads that I had and three days later created this little blue one. Have you ever seen those pretty blue dragonflies? One always seems to find the end of my fishing pole whenever we go on a fishing excursion. I like them because they are delicate and pretty actually, despite their names, with their gossamer wings and elegant demeanor. Anyway, this one has delicate pale lavender wings and is flying up through tiny fuchsia and purple flowers. It makes me think of springtime and summer. Hope you like it!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Lollishops? Etsy? Ebay? What Have I Learned?

I was thinking this past week about the year almost behind us and the decisions I've made for Glass Bead Treasures and what, if any, changes I would make for the new year ahead. I've learned a lot, made some mistakes, and made a few decisions.

I've learned (the hard way) to be very exacting when listing something...hurrying with a description will incur mistakes. I've learned that Priority mail is just too expensive for little things like I have. I offer free shipping on everything (which I appreciate when purchasing from others), but Priority is just too much money. First class gets things where they need to go in a timely manner--and I always put a tracking # with each package. No one can then say their package never arrived.

I put several things on Ebay this past year, and other than one really good sale did very poorly and wasted my money. Oh, I can't stand wasting money!! Anyway, with Ebay a person just "never knows" . It is a well-known place, and many go there every week, including myself, to see what is there. But over all I think I will place very few auctions there this coming year.

Opening a shop on Etsy was a very wise move. I started placing things there early in the summer. I had hesitated for a while because, well, to be honest there were things featured on the front page at times that I thought were quite inappropriate. I didn't like and still don't like that aspect about Etsy, but the more I got to know the site the less I felt it would impact my shop or anyone I sent there. I love the fact that it accepts the selling of vintage items (yes, a replacement for Ebay). It is quite reasonably priced as long as I resist the temptation to spend more than is necessary on relisting and showcases. I figured out the importance of doing "treasuries" (which are great fun), connecting with people in the forums, "hearting" people, etc. I learned what showcases are worthwhile and what showcases are definitely NOT worth the money through trial and error (and losing some money). I've met some fabulous people there and will stay there.

Lollishops is just over one year old, and it has been fun being a part of something new. It has had some bumps and many changes and adjustments over the past year. There were times I considered dropping off the bandwagon but, understanding Sadie's vision and seeing its potential, was determined to stick it. I'm so glad I have! At first I didn't like the change a few months ago to being basically a referral site, but now I love it. It offers exposure to a targeted crowd while simply referring any serious purchasers to my Etsy shop. This was a wise move on Sadie's part which I'm very satisfied with. Oh, and the price is exceptional. You just can't beat the monthly price for the exposure ratio. I love that there are regular advertising opportunities in well-known publications and other interesting exposure chances, like Silver Bella press kits, which I've taken advantage and could never afford on my own. It is nice that the front page always shows what I have newly listed and a featured item from my shop from time to time. I have actually sold things as a result of being on Lollishops' front page! Lollishops also allows the selling of vintage goodies which is an added plus. I think for me Lollishops has been well worth it, and I'll happily continue on this coming year.

I know my shop and ideas and budget are different from others, but I thought I'd share the wisdom gained from the past year. I hope this is a help to others who may be trying to make decisions for the upcoming year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

For the Love of Guilloche

I never really knew what guilloche (not to mention how to pronounce it) was until my mom told me a story (along with a quest) about a piece of jewelry her grandmother owned. It was a blue enamel piece in the shape of a bow with little pink flowers on it. She remembers her grandmother had it and upon her death was buried with that brooch on. My mom mentioned that she is on a quest to find a piece that looks like that. Well, first I did a search to figure out exactly what it was she was looking for (always a good idea to figure out at the beginning of a serious search) and discovered that guilloche is an interlaced curved pattern either painted or carved on metal over which is clear enamel so that the pattern shows through. You can see that in the white on these pictures. A simple search on Ebay revealed a plethora of amazing, gorgeous pieces--jewelry, compacts, hair brushes and combs, etc. There are stunning pieces are out there...and pricey too at favorites with backgrounds of white, green, and blue. While I still haven't found the blue, pink-rose encrusted bow brooch, I have and will continue to enjoy the search.
The Coro-signed locket brooch in the pictures above, I found at an estate sale. I contemplated taking the piece apart since I like the parts of it but not the locket/brooch as a whole. However, I figure why take a nice signed piece apart that someone else may be looking for or want. I've put this in my Etsy shop. Perhaps someday, I may find just the right guilloche piece that "speaks to me" for my own enjoyment (and at the right price). Until then, I shall continue to enjoy looking at all that is out there...and perhaps I just might find that blue bow brooch for my mom.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snowflake Swap....

...there are only a few days left to enter. Be sure to check out the link HERE to see all the details. I would love to have more people join in on the fun!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Yummy, Sugary, and Sweet Treasury

I had lots of fun putting together this treasury on Etsy yesterday featuring things that look or smell or remind a person of sugary, sweet, and yummy things. Mmmmmmm, I think I gained three pounds just compiling the treasury! If you'd like a closer look or would like to check out the individual items here is the link>>>Yummy, Sugary, and Sweet.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Thank you, Pauline!

I was blessed to receive a little box this week from a sweet friend in the UK...from no one other than Pauline of Swept and Garnished. Isn't it beautiful? I absolutely love it. The edges are like lace. Thank you so very, very much, Pauline! I will think of you and pray for you and your family when I sip tea from it.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Pretty Laundry Room--Now Completed

I had done a post...many posts ago...about our laundry room. It was just as I wanted it--complete with lots of roses and beautiful colors in green, red, pink, and yellow--except for the ironing board cover (which was gray and covered with ugly house drawings). You may read the post here if you'd like--laundry room. The ironing board cover I had was ancient and in poor shape. Well, I finally broke down and bought a new one for myself, and I dare say that our laundry room is completed and looks completed. I really wanted to support a handmade supplier, so I found Hestia Houseworks on Etsy. Not only did I have a great experience with them with friendly and fast service, but in return I also received a beautiful, quality ironing board cover. The material is gorgeous and goes well in the rose-themed laundry room...and it feels great to support a fellow Etsy-ian. Hooray for handmade! ; )

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It Snowed and Blew...and he Still Came!

This is the scene from our front door today. It isn't very exciting actually, but it's amazing how much snow can fall in one day! We got around a foot of snow. Others in the state got more...some less. Unfortunately we don't have a snow blower, so out we went with our shovels and a lot of elbow grease (so much grease in fact that my elbow hurts this morning!) and finally got the driveway shoveled. It wouldn't have been so bad if it hadn't been for the wind. It felt like sand blowing and pitting on our faces. Everything and every one was at a standstill for hours and hours. My husband couldn't get to work (I certainly didn't mind that--I LOVE having hubby home). The kids didn't have a snow day because, well, you just don't when you homeschool. We did several subjects and quizzes and practiced violins and had a shorter day because Daddy was home, though. What impressed me was the fact that the mailman came! Yes, it was after the plow came through (after the storm was basically finished) and four hours later than he usually gets here, but he made it! We were all so impressed that he actually delivered on a blizzard day on country roads. We think he deserves--and he will get--a special treat and thank you. I know, I's his job...but everyone deserves a special thank you from time to time, and he is deserving.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Snowflake Swap

Today is the first real snowfall of the season, and the day when the kids and I traditionally get out the clear, glistening crystal, glass, and resin snowflakes to put up on our windows (they will remain up until March sometime). I love snowflakes...they are shiny, sparkly, glittery, and beautiful in every possible way. In honor of this event, I have decided to host a swap.

Here are the rules:
1) Must sign up by midnight December 21. International participants welcome.
2) Must email me at with the following information: Name, mailing address, email address, blog address, and whether you mind swapping internationally. I will email you back a confirmation that I have received your info.
3) Swap box must include at least one snowflake item (napkins, ornament, candle, candy, etc.) and at least one handmade item (tag, pin, charm, ornament, ATC, dishcloth, etc.). Most if not all of the colors of the items must be "snow" colors--think silver, clear, shades of white, all shades of blue, glitter, crystal.
4) Swap partners will be emailed out on January 2 for the mailing of items by January 16. (Hey, there's nothing else going on in the middle of January--might as well do a swap!).

Now, one important thing about this swap is that I will not tolerate anyone who doesn't hold up their end of the deal. The last swap I participated in was terribly disappointing. I worked hard on my swap items, sent them off to my three partners, and didn't get anything in return from any of them! Please don't sign up for this if you are not serious about participating.

I will post about specific people who don't live up to their word, so please follow through.

Now, grab the button above to spread the word, add a link to this blog post, and let's have fun. Let it snow!

P.S. Snowflake paper above compliments of

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Mmmmm, Mint and Chocolate

For some reason I have had mint and chocolate on the brain. It might be because we are waiting for our box of Girl Scout cookies to arrive--you know, the mint and chocolate covered ones. Or, it might be that the grass outside has gone from green to brown too quickly. Or, it just might be because a mint and chocolate candy sounds really good right now--cool and fresh and indulgent. Well, regardless of the reason, I have put together this Etsy treasury and had a grand time doing it too! It features some of my favorites (just love Pei Li's work--I can't get enough of her miniature creations--check out her shop here....Dollhouse Miniatures). If you'd like to look at the treasury in more detail here is the link...Mint and Chocolate.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Perfume Bottles and Romantic Homes Magazine

I always get way too far ahead of myself when it comes to reading my magazine subscriptions. I just got "Tea Time" in the mail...their January/February issue where they are talking about Valentines Day already...but I can't help it! All of this beautiful, fabulous information with pictures is sitting there waiting for me, and I can't resist peeking...then reading...from cover to cover!
Well, the January 2010 issue of "Romantic Homes" arrived, and I've already read through the whole thing. I couldn't help it. There is a must-see article about the home of one of the Layla-Grace co-founders, Wendy Estes, (the ornate white-with-pink-kissed-roses dresser is WAY, WAY beyond gorgeous), and there was a little article about perfume bottles. How can one resist an article about perfume bottles?
First, in the picture above, is the decorative glass "tray" that I have on my dresser. I don't use the things on it. It is basically just for decoration. I like the labels and the shapes and think it is romantic in every way.
The pink one with the heart-shaped topper I've had since high school and really like the color of the bottle AND the heart, of course.
The green one with the crown topper I bought in New Zealand at an antique store. It is a bath salt bottle actually with some of the salts still in it. I thought the crown was gorgeous and unique.
This is the perfume I use. My husband loved the scent...on another girlfriend, if you can believe that! LOL! But, no hard feelings at all, and I've worn it for over 20 years. He usually gets it for me for our anniversary when I'm out. I take great care not to waste it, and a bottle lasts and lasts and smells wonderful...oh, and makes me think of Paris!
These are little miniature bottles that I have sitting on this chintz plate on my dresser. You know...I can't resist anything in miniature, so a few miniature perfume bottles are a must. The Poeme bottle was given to me, and I like it for it's shape. The Paris miniature bottle, I've had for years and years. It was a "diamond" edition freebie with a Paris perfume purchase well over 10 years ago. My kids think it's a real diamond--wish it were!
Finally, this trio is an inexpensive set, but they look expensive, I think. The colors go perfectly with our bathroom colors. I love the crystal stoppers, and they sparkle and shine (when they aren't dusty!) and look beautiful when the sun is shining in our bathroom window. They just seem to glow.
I really do like and enjoy perfume bottles. I love their shapes, sizes, and labels. I don't have many perfume bottles, and those that I DO have aren't expensive ones. But, who needs to spend all outdoors to enjoy something pretty? Bottles and labels in many shapes and forms (like my glittery, shabby rose perfume label ornament--for year-round enjoyment) can truly add pretty spots of color and glamor to a home.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thank you, Jerre!

Jerre, at had a giveaway featuring these fun goodies--two yards of beautiful material, a sweet pincushion magnet, and some adorable Mary Engelbreit stickers. Thank you, Jerre!
Jerre, has some fabulous creations at her shop (I personally love her "raggy blankets"--my favorite one sold--not surprised!!) why not go over for a quick peek at what she has to offer. While you're over at Etsy, check out Jerre's friend, Judy's, shop (I LOVE the lace snowflake ornaments--gorgeous!).