Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Getting Ready For Bead Soup Blog Party, etc.

I've been having fun getting together my Bead Soup for the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party which is my first time participating.  I was amazed to read that there are 500 of us who will be taking part during the three reveal dates--that's a lot of blogs to read!  I have no idea how Lori keeps everything organized but I'm definitely in awe.

More jewelry is ready for the next Piety Street Market on February 9th in New Orleans and to be listed in my Etsy shops.  I dread cropping all the photos and writing all the listings.  Isn't that everyone's least favorite part of creating?

I ordered a new necklace display from Selena Beads n Bits on Etsy and it's due to arrive on Friday.  Oh, how I have needed it!  It can hold eight, long necklaces and is heavy enough that it shouldn't blow over during outdoor markets.

Edith Tall Swivel Necklace Stand 

My husband has been working on a new earring display for me.  The brass rods to hold the earring cards arrived today and will need to be cut, copper plated, treated with liver of sulphur, and installed.  And the woodwork remains to be either stained or painted.  After I condition the wood, I'll test to see if it's going to take the stain evenly.  If not, I'll paint it.  Stay tuned for photos...

I've been so busy that I haven't even written any updates on Randy, our rescue tuxedo cat.  We've now had him 30 days and he has grown--a lot.  I cannot believe that a little over a month ago that he still looked like an over-grown kitten.  He now looks like an almost fully grown cat.  He acts like a normal house cat except that he is still not ready to be touched (petted or picked up).  He is getting very attached to me and likes to follow me and lie on the floor next to me while I work.  He'll soon be visiting the vet for every little boy cat's least favorite visit and I must admit that I don't look forward to it.  Even with the cat sedative, I can't imagine that it's going to be easy to get him into his Sherpa Sack  because his claws are wicked long! I'm seriously considering wearing leather gloves.  I'll make an effort to get some new photos of my handsome lad up on the blog. 

Our recent weather has been very unseasonal and today's wind advisory has had me nervous.  Even the cat got really antsy during the gusty winds earlier in the day.  I'm thankful that he finally calmed down and has been sleeping for the last couple of hours.  The dangerous weather in the Atlanta metro area has been on my mind, as well.  I have a lot of friends up there.  I hope all my readers are safe and sound.  Stay safe, my friends! Severe Weather Graphic

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Crafting With Beer: Adorable Handmade Books

I follow the blog of fellow jewelry designer, Vicki Potter of Orion Designs.  In addition to making beautiful jewelry, she also enjoys crafting hand bound books.  She recently blogged about some small booklets that she made using the cardboard 6-pack holders from beer.  She described the books as a "quick and dirty" variety of books but I think they are far more than that!  The books are so cute and I commented that they would be perfect for tasting notes at a beer festival and Vicki was kind enough to offer me one.  I received it last week along with a lovely handmade card and it really brightened my day.  I now have my little book waiting for the next tasting that I attend.  I can't wait to show off my book and it will surely get lots of compliments from fellow beer lovers.

Beer Book:  Handmade by Vicki Potter

Beer Book:  Handmade by Vicki Potter

Handmade Card From Vicki Potter
Beautiful Handmade Card

Vicki's blog is not all jewelry and crafting; she bakes, too!  Her blog has a recipe for lemon pie that differs from the recipes that I've used in the past.  This is a no bake pie that calls for sour cream to be folded into the chilled custard mixture.  I had some Meyer lemons in the refrigerator so I had to try her recipe.  My mother, husband, and I are all exceedingly fond of lemon flavored desserts and really liked this pie a lot.  I would imagine that it could also be lightened a bit by substituting 0% fat Greek yogurt such as Fage for the sour cream.  And, it could also be served as a thick pudding with graham cracker or even gingersnap crumbs if you're not in the mood to make a graham cracker crust.  Head over to Vicki's blog for the recipe in celebration of National Pie Day and give it a try if you like lemon!

Another Great Earring Giveaway!

AliMc of Northwoods Creative Studio is having an earring giveaway in celebration of her 50th blog post.  Head on over to check out her earrings that were made as part of the AJE Challenge.  She used her own handmade ear wires and headpins, as well as, lampwork beads and enameled elements--she's learning to do it all!

earrings made by Northwoods Creative Studio

From her blog post:

"Ok, here's how you can win!  There are numerous ways to get extra entries, use as many or as few as you like.  Random drawing will take place on Monday January 28th.
1) Leave a comment below for your first entry, and another for each of the ways below that you share.
2) Follow my blog or indicate that you are already a follower.
3) Share the giveaway on your blog.
4) "Like" Northwoods Creative Studio on facebook.
5) Follow Northwoods Creative Studio on Pinterest
Good luck and spread the word, if we have over 50 comments on this 50th post I will give away a second pair to a second winner.  (If there is a second winner the first one will get first choice of earrings.)"

Good luck!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Lovely Giveaway

is being hosted over at Alice DreamingMary Jane Dodd created two pairs of lovely "Be Kind" earrings and hosted a giveaway on her blog with the intention of letting the winner choose who received the second pair.  The winner, Izzy Winterhart of Under A Copper Sky, chose to give both pairs to Alice and she is hosting a giveaway for the second pair.  To enter, please leave a comment on her blog and leave separate comments for each way that you share the contest on social media.  Be sure to leave your email address so that she can contact you if you win!

It would be nice if the winner could find a way to carry this giveaway forward in some manner--another giveaway, creating a tutorial to teach others a new skill, a donation to a charity, etc.  Please consider it. :)

Be Kind Earrings By Mary Jane Dodd
"Be Kind" Earrings by Mary Jane Dodd

Friday, January 11, 2013

Mistaken Identity

Our little rescue cat is getting more settled by the day and is also growing a lot.  We had thought that our little cat was going into estrus because of a night of meowing that sounded very much like a cat in heat but we are certain that is not the case.  Our little Olive has been discovered to actually be a BOY!  After all the cats that I've had or been around, you'd think that I would be able to tell the difference! During the whole first week, he rarely lifted his tail and when he did, we saw absolutely no hint of "furry nut brothers"--husband's term, not mine!  Now that he has become more comfortable, he has started walking taller and sleeping in adorable sprawled out positions that have made his gender obvious.  So, I've had to apologize to him for calling him Olive for so long and my husband has given him a name befitting a little boy.

When we finally got our little kitty indoors on Christmas Eve, he hid under the kitchen sink for a bit.  We laughed about it and joked that we should name the cat "Randy" after the little boy in A Christmas Story but we were certain that Olive was more suitable for a female cat.  Now that we know that she is actually a he, the name suddenly made sense and our little tuxedo kitty is now named Randy.

Randy Under Sink--A Christmas Story
Randy Parker Under Sink (convinced that Daddy will kill Ralphie)

Ian Petrella played Randy Parker, A Christmas Story
Ian Petrella (portrayed Randy)

And on to a completely different  subject...tomorrow is the Piety Street Market.  I hope to see you there!

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

An Earring Giveaway on "Earrings Everyday"

If you don't already follow the blog Earrings Everyday, you should definitely check it out.  It was founded by Heather Powers of Humble Beads and provides daily inspiration for those who design jewelry.  Today's post is by Erin Prais-Hintz  of Tesori Trovati and includes a contest.  Enter to win a pair of the adorable earrings that she blogged about in that post.  Erin provided three ways to win:
  1. Follow Earrings Everyday and leave a comment that you do.
  2. Share Earrings Everyday with your peeps: tweet, Facebook, blog, skywriting, smoke signals, sandwich board, billboard... pick one and tell me what you did.
  3. Select your favorite Pantone color from this palette. Or combination. What colors speak to you? What are you most surprised to see here? Is there a color that is growing on you? Do tell!
She requests " sure to have a way for me to contact you to arrange your prize. I will announce the winner on January 22nd!"  I think it would be wise to leave your email address in your comment.

Good luck!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sharing An Excellent Blog Post

Jeremy (Beer Buddha) has written an excellent post on beer & Mardi Gras in the New Orleans area:  The Beer Buddha's Beer Geeks Guide to Mardi Gras 2013 Edition.   Be sure to read it if you're planning on enjoying the carnival season in the Greater New Orleans area!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Preparing For Valentine's Day

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A lot of people are true romantics and enjoy Valentine's Day.  I've never really gotten into it but I'm not going to let that keep me from making jewelry for those who love it--or those who hate it.  I'm also making a few pieces for people who are anti-Valentine's Day for whatever reason.

So, expect some vintage-inspired pieces, a few more that are more modern, and some that are edgier and maybe even black.  I have a few items that are leftover from last year when my shop was so new that it wasn't on anyone's radar.

I'll have some Valentine's items with me at the January 12th Piety Street Market for those who like to shop early and many more items at the February 9th market.  I'm always happy to wrap your purchases and will have traditional red, white, and pink wrappings and a few non-traditional choices. 

I've always liked to buy holiday cards and tissue paper when they go on clearance after the holidays.  I'm usually just buying for the next Winter holiday season but this year, I was searching for items that could be used all year as part of my packaging for my shops.  I was able to buy plain, white and red tissue paper and I even found a few tiny, sparkly red gift bags for my Valentine's Day shoppers all at 70% off.  I use so little that these packs of tissue should last more than a year.

The January Piety Street Market is Mardi Gras themed and should be a load of fun.  I can't believe that it's almost Twelfth Night and the start of the carnival season!  That's a dangerous time for me because I have a weakness for really good king cakes.  My favorites are the Apple & Goat Cheese from Cake Café and the Pralines & Cream from Praline Connection--not a lot of people talk about that one but it is amazing.    I've loved their cake ever since I tried it at the Best of the Beat a few years ago.  And, Praline Connection gets extra points for making their king cakes look a bit like they were decorated by Jackson Pollock.

I hope your new year is off to an auspicious start.  Our new rescue kitty is settling in well but still not ready to be held or petted, the table my husband is making me is almost finished, and I'm really behind on work.  I really need to finish some items for a couple of friends who have been beyond patient while waiting on me to get them ready (Birgitta & Gale--you're both saints!).  So, it's back to work for me...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

First Photo of Olive

Olive Marie, our rescue tuxedo cat
Olive Playing With Mom

My husband snapped a few photos of Olive while she was playing last night.  Her eyes may appear golden in this photo but are actually more of a chartreuse green.  Note how her toy is already looking rather "loved"!

Happy New Year from Olive =^..^=

Edit to add:


Happy New Year!
 My wish is that 2013 brings everyone joy, love, good health, peace, and creativity!

Photo by my husband