Friday, August 7, 2009

Another sale!

Hi everyone!


This time I actually made it into the Weekend Deals Guide on Etsy! Hooray!! So here is my weekend deal: 20% off your total, including shipping. I'll refund you through Paypal after your payment has been received. This is a great time to get started on holiday shopping. I have lots of new items and more will be listed this weekend. Come and check it out!


Monday, July 20, 2009

Peaceful Sky

I spent most of yesterday making jewelry, and I guess I'll spend most of today listing and sharing. :-) This is one of my favorites. I love everything about it!



I used smooth, natural aquamarine oval beads (harvested from another project that I wasn't happy with) and funky little keishi pearls. I knotted them together with light blue silk thread, which really brings out the blue of the stones. I used a copper toggle to finish the bracelet.


It's hard to decide which element of this bracelet is my favorite. The colors? Light blue is my favorite colors...the stones? Pearls and aquamarine are 2 of the stones I love the most...I would probably have to say that the technique is the part I love the most. There is something very soothing and therapeutic about knotting. I enjoy the challenge of getting the knot in exactly the right spot...although I'm not so crazy about the challenge of getting it OUT when I make a mistake...:-)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Princess Necklace

After spending most of last week in Cincinnati at a readding conference, I'm back!! On Friday I listed a new item and I just have to blog about it:



Several months ago, I had a dream that I was walking on the beach and decided to start digging in the sand. I found a treasure chest filled with several different jeweled necklaces. When I woke up, this was the only necklace that I could remember. I knew I had to create it! I used my favorite technique, knotting. Pairs of tiny button pearls alternate with beautifully faceted tourmalines. I added a gold vermeil leaf charm and a gold vermeil toggle clasp and voila! I decided to name it the "Princess Necklace" because for me, this would not be an everyday piece of jewelry. The gemstones and gold make it Princess Necklavery elegant and glamorous. I'd love to hear what you think of it!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Give Peas a Chance

Happy Saturday! :-)


I am so excited about a new item I listed this week that I decided to blog about it. It's a necklace, and it's called "Give Peas a Chance".



The idea was born one afternoon when I was browsing through Etsy supplies, looking for some type of silver pendant - I can't remember what it was. That's when I found this awesome pendant. It's not a real spoon (not quite big enough and too thick), but it looks like one. I immediately thought how cute it would be to attach some green pearls to it to make it look like a spoonful of peas. I bought the pendant from redvelvet, then found  the perfect "peas" at QualyBeads. I went to Fusionbeads for the chain and findings. When all my supplies arrived, I was a little disappointed to find out that the gunmetal-finish headpins that I had planned to string the pearls on were too thick. Instead I used eggs to oxidize some thin sterling silver headpins, and that turned out just perfect! And as a matter of fact, I used the gunmetal headpins to make matching earrings. Hmmm, I wonder what other "vegetables" I can put on a spoon........

Friday, July 3, 2009

Sorry, vegetarians...

Now that summer is here, one of the many things on my to-do list is to try a new recipe at least once a week. It's not easy to find something that everyone will eat, when trying to feed this crowd: a husband who is allergic to chicken; a 12-yr-old who won't eat most things that originated in a garden; and a 4-yr-old who won't eat most things, period. That leaves me (of course, I'll eat it - I made up the menu :-), and 6-yr-old Aidan, who is a pretty good eater, at least compared to the rest. One of my good old standbys is meatloaf. I have a standard recipe that I've been using for years, and everyone is ok with it. But this week I decided that I wanted to try a new recipe, and this is what I chose:"Barbecue Meatloaf". I found it on the Taste of Home website, and it is wonderful!!! Very tangy, with just the right amount of sweetness to it. It was so good that I had seconds of it, even when I was eating it as leftovers! I will definitely fix it again, and I wanted to share the recipe with everyone, so here it is:


Barbecue Meat Loaf


TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 1hour 20 min.


  • SAUCE:

  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • 1 cup quick-cooking or rolled oats

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon pepper

  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes


In a small bowl, combine sauce ingredients; set aside. In a large bowl, mix together meat loaf ingredients. Add half of the sauce to the meat loaf mixture; mix well. Press into a 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan. Bake at 350° for 1 hour. Remove from oven; drain. Pour remaining sauce over loaf. Return to oven and bake 20 minutes longer or until no pink remains. Yield: 8-10 servings.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Just a quick promo for my shop:

I'm having a BOGO 1/2 sale this weekend. From now until Sunday, buy any item at regular price and get another of equal or lesser value for 1/2 price. See my shop announcement for details!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Budding Artists?

Summer is here, which is a GREAT thing in many ways. Summer has always been my favorite season, but I am a teacher, so that makes summer even better! (By the way, I still work over the summer. The idea that teachers have summer and holidays "off" is a common misconception.) Anyway, one of the not-so-great things about being home for a couple of months is trying to find something for the kids to do. I remember being bored to death as a kid - there was nothing to do!!! I have 3 kids, and even with all the toys, technology, and TV available to them, of course, they still get bored. My 2 youngest ones love to color and paint, and I heard about making kids' paint with Kool-Aid, so I decided to try it. All you need is a pack of Kool-Aid, 1 1/2 tsp of water, and 1 tsp. of flour. You mix it up, and voi la! You have paint!





The kids had a lot of fun and they really enjoyed the novelty of painting with Koo-Aid, but I really wouldn't recommend it. Here's why: for one thing, it doesn't make much paint (although it's very vibrant, so a little does go a long way). Also, Kool-Aid does stain skin, if only temporarily. Finally, the colors are a bit limited - I can't find blue or green Kool-Aid in my area. Nex time, I'll just use regular paint! :-)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

This was fun!!!

I'd like to tell you about my newest listing, ans it's one I had a lot of fun creating! It's called "Cherry Quartz and Pearl Bracelet" (I know, not a very exciting name, but I used up all of my creativity for the morning on the bracelet itself :-). I began by using silver-plated wire to make random-sized links that I used to connect faceted cherry quartz nuggets. I purposely made the links different sizes and shapes to give it a whimsical look. After all of the links were attached, I hammered them to give them that cool texture. Finally, I took think sterling wire and used it to string pearls inside each of the links. Here is the finished product:






I love the way the colors go together - very feminine and girly. :-)



Friday, June 19, 2009

My Newest Favorite...

Or should I call it my "favorite newest" piece...? Either way, I might just decide to keep it for myself. i absolutely LOVE pearls, in just about and shape or color, and I love monochromatic color schemes..."Snowstorm Bracelet" has both:

Pearls of all shapes and sizes...coin, keishi, seed, potato, stick...combine with beads and stones in other shades of white: rainbow moonstone, crystal quartz, and crystal glass beads. I plan to make other pieces like this using pearls and stone in other colors; I hope to make a brown one next.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Again with the animals....

So, a few days ago I blogged about all the wildlife experiences we've had lately...toads, bunnies, spiders...

Well, last night, just before midnight, I was awakened to the sound of another another animal screeching in my living room. I was thinking, "Great, another bunny" as I pulled on my pants, but nope...this time Cooties brought in a half-grown blue jay. I was able to check it out a little and it seemed ok - no feathers missing, not bleeding, but it seemed like one wing might have been hurt. It certainly was able to hop around a lot. It didn't try to fly, but I don't know if it was hurt, or just too young to fly. Poor thing. I took it outside and put it near the trees at the end of our yard. It hopped/fluttered off. I sure hope it found its nest.

I guess I'm going to have to do some research on how to take care of wild animals that have been rescued!

I just really don't understand why my cat is suddenly bringing in all these creatures. As I said in the previous post, he is 13 and has NEVER brought animals in the house. This bird is the 5th animal he has brought in the house in the last week. What's up with that????

Here is a picture of Cooties, snoozing in his favorite spot after a long night of bird catching:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wow - An Award!!

Thanks to Marta Coimbra for sending me the "One Lovely Blog Award". And if you think mine is lovely at all, you should see hers!!!

And as a way of spreading the joy, I'm sending this award on to these blogs as well:
A Young Baker's Ramblings and Whims
Happy Flying Buttons

If you are not following them, you really should check them out!


Good Wednesday Morning!!!!


I wanted to share my latest listing with you..."June".

Freshwater pearls and sterling silver make a simple and stunning combination!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Hello Monday!!

It is the first official day of summer vacation. YAY!! I am hoping to really get things going in my shop. My ultimate goal (besides sales, of course) is to have 100 items listed by the time we go back to school at the end of August. Here is what I just listed this morning:

I called it "Beaten Path" because of the color of the stones and the meandering pattern of the copper. I am really getting into this hammering!!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


OK, school's out and I finally have time to blog again and really work on my shop. Maybe the Sales Fairy will pay a call....:-)

It's been Crazy Wildlife Week around our house. To begin with, I was awakened last Wednesday night at 2:43 AM to a shrill, tiny scream coming from my bathroom. My cat had brought a bunny in the house. I finally wrestled it away from him and put it outside, where (I thought) it hopped back to its den. Unfortunately, about 10 minutes later I heard that same scream again coming from the front porch...and a minute later, the thump of my cat coming in the doggie door...with the bunny in his mouth again. I got it away from him again, and put it outside, this time further out in the yard. Both times the bunny was relatively unscathed. The next night, it happened again, but it I think it was a different bunny because it was much more lively. I had to use an empty PopTart box to capture it so I could put it outside. What makes it so unusual for us is that my cat is 13 and he has NEVER brought any living creature in the house before. Trying to show off for the new cats? Trying to adopt a new son? :-)

Then, the next day, Aidan found a toad. As you can see in the pics, he and Hopey were thrilled with it:
I'm not so sure how thrilled the toad was with them....

And then to cap off our wildlife adventures...I went into the garage one evening to hammer some copper for links, and there was one of those large black beetles crawling on the ground. Aidan wanted to touch it, and I had no sooner said that he could, when a black widow popped out of a crack in the trim and started having the beetle for her dinner! Creepy, yes, but it was kind of cool to see up close. Well, not that close. It was like seeing an Animal Planet doc in person!

Monday, May 25, 2009


My "Sunlight and Shadows" bracelet was in a treasury that made it to the Front Page this morning!!!!


And because I'm SO bead obsessed, I was awake at 5 AM on Sunday thinking about what else I should have bought. So I went back......
More pearls, Peruvian opal, glass beads, more turquoise.....

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Christmas in May!!!!

Actually, my birthday (on Saturday). My fabulous husband came up with a great idea: he decided that we could take the kids to Grandma's for a while, and he and I could go to a new bead shop that I have recently discovered. Woohoo! What could be better? So, coffee in hand, we dropped off the kids and were on our way. I did ask Brett if we could stop at Books A Million on the way so I could look at a beading magazine on the way for inspiration. I was almost done with the magazine and was reading the "local events" section when what did I discover, but that there was a mineral and bead show 2 towns away THIS WEEKEND!! And we happened to be driving right through that town as I read it! So we quickly changed plans and exited off the interstate to attend my first-ever bead and jewelry show.

I really didn't know what to expect, but it was definitely a great way to spend a morning. There were several vendors who were selling minerals and rocks that were not drilled, and TONS of people selling finished jewelry (although most of it paled in comparison to anything you could find on Etsy :-), but of course I zeroed in on the vendors who were selling strands. I got some really great deals!! Take a look at what I got:

Maple turquoise, lime green turquoise, smoky quartz, pearls...

FABULOUS labradorite, pink coral, silver spacers...

So many beads!! My brain is spinning!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Sometimes when I'm making jewelry, I know exactly how I want it to look. I sit down with all the supplies ready to go and it turns out just like it looked in my head.

Sometimes the beads and components take on a life of their own and turn into something entirely different than I had imagined. That's what happened to me today. I had some labradorites left over from a custom project, and some coin pearls that I had several of. I decided that since they were the same shape and size, I would try them together. I decided to wire-wrap them together, "rosary style", because that's my favorite technique (currently). When I was done, I liked it, but it seemed a little...blah. Like it was missing something. I got a garnet briolette and decided to add that as a dangle, but still wanted more. Looking through my materials, I found a marcasite-type cross that was rescued from an old necklace of mine that had fallen apart. As soon as I laid it beside the bracelet, I knew how it belonged. As I said in the listing description, the labradorites are the gray of sin; the pearls are the creamy white of an infant's soul; the croos represents our Higher Power, and the garnet represents everlasting love. Here is the finished piece:

Monday, May 18, 2009

One of those days, I guess....

No pretty pictures to post today. I really feel the need to vent, so please skip this post if you don't feel the need to read someone's complaints. :-(

To begin the day, my DEAR hubby (most of the time he's dear, anyway) was in a ROTTEN mood and informed me that all of our financial troubles are because of me. Now mind you, we do have financial troubles coming out of our ears lately, but we have both agreed over the course of our marriage that I am the responsible one and he is the one who needs to be more, shall we say, in tune with the balance of his checking account. We ironed that out eventually throughout the courseof the day, but to add to the stress, he starts a sort-of new job and a VERY new shift tonight: 11 PM to 9 AM, 4 days a week. Yuck. That means rearranging eating schedules and keeping 2 young kids quiet all day this summer.

Sooo...then I went to school. I teach 2nd grade. Things were ok until about lunchtime, when I discovered that someone had dragged a crayon stub all the way across the floor and back with their shoe, leaving a long, red, loopy skid mark. Of course, no one would admit to doing it. That alone is not a HUGE deal, but my class is very destructive and they have ruined sooo many things this year. They just don't care much about other people's posessions. Sigh. Only 16 more days left - there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Yes, I know, unethical....

If you've ever visited my Etsy shop and read my profile, you already know this: I started making my own jewelry because I couldn't afford to buy all the lovely jewelry that I saw in Sundance catalog. You might say that I fell in love with the jewelry, but not with the prices. Well, putting that info in there has turned out to be a good thing: I have a customer who read that and asked me if I could make her a pair of earrings similar to these in Sundance:

So pretty...faceted labradorite coins dangling from sterling wires, under limb-shaped beads...$215 - OUCH! It took a few weeks of convo-ing back and forth and browsing for just the right beads and earwires. And I couldn't have done it without Laura Staley, who made the limb beads for me out of Precious Metal Clay (I hope to learn that skill this summer...). Here is the final product:

I think they turned out pretty darn good, especially considering that the final price for the customer was $25!!! Just about 90% less than what the originals cost!!

And the best part (for me, anyway) is that even though she hasn't even received the earrings yet, she has already commissioned me to copy another

Moss aquamarine, citrine, pearl, sterling silver...$88...stay tuned for the outcome!!!

New Stuff!

Here are the 2 latest additions to my shop. What do you think?

Amethyst Drops

and... Cheerful Earrings

Friday, May 15, 2009

Treasure Hunt!!!!!!!!!

Hoot Hoot Hooty Hooty Hoot! It's a Treasure Hunt!!!!

My shop is part of a treasure hunt. Here's how it works: one of my listings has a picture of a treasure chest mixed in with the additional pictures. If you find it, and BUY that item with a convo to me that says "treasure chest", you can take an additional item that is worth $20 or less FOR FREE, OR you can take $20 off the cost of a more expensive item. Isn't that exciting????

And, here is a link to the forum thread with a listing of all the other shops participating in the hunt:

Good Luck!!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I'm back!

I haven't been around for a while...getting ready for the end of the school year, trying to keep up with Etsy, not to mention 3 know how it goes.

One of the joys of Etsy is the ability to trade with other artisans. It's exciting to sell your creations for money, but I personally think it's more fun to trade for other cool stuff. I have traded for an afghan and a bowl, and then a few weeks ago, another jewelry artist contacted me about trading. My first thought was, "Why would I want to trade jewelry for jewelry? I could just make it myself!" But I quickly changed my mind when I saw her shop! Ositarose makes the most gorgeous earrings. And they're all under $20! She has a very romantic style- colorful, sparkly, and feminine.

Take a look at the beauties I got:

These are the "Pixie Garden" earrings. Aren't they great?

And these are "Turquoise Vintage Petite". Pretty, right??

She even sent me another free pair as a gift. I thought that was so sweet of her! They all came in dainty little organza bags, and all of them are very well-made. If you get a chance, please visit her shop!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I recently taught myself a new technique, and I think I am ready to share it with the world: bead knotting. I really enjoy doing it. It's not terribly difficult, but it does require concentration, and of course, practice. I get a tiny thrill every time I successfully nestle a knot flush with a bead! Today, I listed a pearl bracelet and an aquamarine necklace (with a REALLY COOL Thai pendant) that I made by knotting:

I hope you get a chance to come by my shop and check them out.

Seat me next to the quiet starer, please

On a long bus ride, I would much rather be seated next to a quiet starer. I am a quiet starer. One of my biggest pet peeves in life is people who have to talk all the time. My mother-in-law is like that. She just goes on and on to hear herself. If there's nothing to talk about, she'll just repeat something she's already said. Or she'll go into great detail about her current medical problems.

Give me quiet any day!!!!!!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Free jewelry!!!

Hi guys!

My Etsy shop is going to be part of a giveaway in May! Click on the "Salad For Breakfast" button to your right to find out more!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

My bucket list starts with: 5 things

5 things
Visit New York City

Meet someone, anyone, from the cast of "Six Feet Under"

Go through my childhood house

Learn to swim underwater

Buy a house on Ocracoke Island

Making out in First Kiss...

Ugh. It was a totally unexpected tongue kiss from a guy who had just eaten a cheeseburger with ONIONS. I hate onions. I was a bit disappointed and afraid that all mouths tasted like that.

Thing 1

One of the blogs I follow, Experimentalk, had a really cool post last night. It was called "16 Things About Me". She said she had gotten the idea from Flickr, and the goal was to write 16 "sweet" things about herself. I thought it was interesting that I enjoyed reading it even though I had just started to follow her blog and she is a total stranger to me. Then I started thinking that most likely, anyone who reads my blog will also be a total stranger, and some of my posts will not make any sense without knowing some relevant stuff about me first. So, here is 1 important thing you need to know about me.

Thing 1

I am married to the most wonderful (and possibly the most complex) man on Earth. His name is Brett and we have been married for almost 7 years now. We met on Yahoo personals and got married 8 months later on the beach on Ocracoke Island. He is smart, witty, and a great speller. he is also thoughtful, kind, and thorough. He's a therapist, a musician, and in recovery. He is super supportive of me and my crazy beading obsession. Above all, he's always trying to better himself and our family. I love him very much. Can you tell?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

...and because I'm excited about it new banner, that is...

I've decided to make a promotion out of it. From now until the end of the month, I will give a 10% discount to anyone who can tell me where the graphic came from. Not who made it, silly, I already talked about that in the last post! :-) What I mean is, it was a custom banner and the idea for it came from something that I love a lot. If that lone tree against a blue sky looks familiar, don't let it bug you - you have seen it somewhere before. If you are purchasing from me and you can convo me with the answer, I will take 10% off of your total purchase.

Monday, April 6, 2009

I'm so excited!

So, I finally bit the bullet and paid someone to make a custom banner for my shop. I don't have the right software (nor the patience) to do it myself, so it was certainly worth $5 to have someone do it for me. I love it!!! The design is very special to me; some people will recognize it. I'm not going to explain it yet...I'm thinking about making some kind of contest out of it.

Here is a link to the fabulous Etsian who made it for me:

Friday, April 3, 2009

Attention All Hunters!!

As well as selling on Etsy (or trying to ;-), I also have a shop on Artfire. com. There is a really cool Easter Egg Hunt going on right now. Here's how it works:

Lots of Artfire studios are participating and the Eatser Bunny is hiding an Easter egg in each of their shops. It's up to you to find them and fill your "basket".

How do you play?

You will find (at the bottom of this post) a form for this contest. This contains tips to help you navigate and find all the Easter Eggs.
When you find them all you will find that each egg has a letter on it ( or the word "space" ) !
Use all the letters to make a sentence.
The sentence has to be in exact order to score all points.
Even if you manage to assemble a different sentence ( always a possibility I guess) with all those letters it will not be counted as correct.

When you start assembling the sentence you will see when it is correct :) ....( now that is a seriously big tip )
Fill in the answer form and submit.


The Easter Egg hunt starts on April 1st 2009 and will run for 3 weeks ! You have plenty of time to find the answer.

The participating studio's will be hiding their eggs in fun locations around their will receive a hint to find them.

Start looking now! The eggs are in place!

What can you win ?

highest score : $50 gift voucher
second highest : $20 gift voucher
third highest : $10 gift voucher

These vouchers can be spent in all the participating studios, so you will have plenty of ways to spend that voucher!

(So while you're looking for the eggs you might as well look around for goodies you might want to purchase with your vouchers should you win one !)

All participating studios are looking forward to your visit and will welcome you with open arms ..and an egg !
Each studio has a "contact" button should you have any questions about the products they sell.

Here is a link to the form you will need to play:

Good luck!!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April 1, 2009 #2

These are the latest addition to my Etsy shop: Tourmaline Drop Earrings. I have had these little beauties for a while, but tourmalines are kinda close to my heart, so I had been holding onto them. Finally, I decided that I was ready to let them go, and here are the result.

April 1, 2009

Whew, this stomach virus is really kicking our butts. My husband and I have both been at home for the last 2 days. Well, I did try to go to work this morning, but had to turn around and go right back again....