Thursday, November 12, 2009

Stayin' Out Of The Wind and Rain!

The weather is absolutely terrible - so it was a perfect time to race for the studio (getting wet in the process!) and play while the wind howled!

I got out all my bugle beads, seed beads, and dagger beads, just to see what I had - and was astonished at how many different places I had stashed them! And here I thought I was fairly organized....hoo boy - embarrassing!

Moving right along - have far fewer bugle beads than the others - have daggers with no matching seed beads...but....there were enough to spark my imagination for a couple of new (well, more than that, but that's all I had time for!).

I cranked up the radio and the heater....and sat down with the beads....first my favorite color, blue...with a combination of clear transparent color, and opaque pearly color - and the fringe earring pattern that I know by heart...oh, so pretty!!

Then I looked at the green....and there sat the ones I disliked a LOT last time I tried this - but looking at them again - I know why - the color 'tones' don't match, so the whole pattern just doesn't hold together visually. With that in mind, I picked some really pale green pearly seed beads (Ceylon finish, I think), and frosted white bugle beads. The dagger beads I had were the same tone as the seed beads, so they looked good! This combination really appealed to me - the pale shade of green, and the matte white bugles...nice!

I have one more new combination I'm going to try - brought them in to work on tonight - and the mind is percolating about my 'verse purse' - next project to re-visit!

Here's today's goodies:

are they not very pretty?? Course you have to like pastel!

and here's the green version:

Next version, I'm going to try a wider, longer more favorite colors... stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Amazing What You Find....

Even though I have not been terribly active doing jewelry and crafts - I have been VERY busy! Happy to say that all Christmas presents that needed making are all done - just need boxes and wrapping - good feeling that!

I also have joined a couple of groups here on the net. I have always wanted to do a bit of 'giving back' with my crafts - but never could find a good way to do that. Now I have found not one, but two! I first found a site through reading another crafting blog - called Heartmade Blessings - they have a group of people (like me) who make afghan squares in colors and sizes that are requested. They make afghans for anyone going through a crisis - from families of soldiers who gave their lives, to chemo patients, to anything that an afghan would let the recipient know they are cared for. It is a good feeling to contribute to this effort.

I then found another site, called "Hero-ghans" - and this one is for families of those in our armed services who have died in service to our country. Done in patriotic colors, and according to their rules - on this one you let them know what you have ready - and then fill a request. The notes received back from the families are touching - and such rich payment for very little effort.

On both of these sites, you identify your square with a tag, giving your name and location - how neat to receive one of these afghans and see how many different people and places contributed to it!

Changing I did get some time out in my studio, and started looking through the beads I have on hand. I found the prettiest crystal star beads from Rings N Things that I had totally forgotten I had! Resisting the impulse to complicate it....I decided to just make a simple dangle....and oh, how I like it!

Took a long head pin, slid on the pretty little star, and then some sparkly crystal Delica beads - and that was it! Simple, and very pretty!

Here they are (did I tell you I finally got my trusty scanner working again on my studio laptop? Yay and Yay!!):

and a close up of the sparkly!

I'm calling these my "Star of Bethlehem" earrings - seemed the best name for them!

More to come.....stay tuned!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Wow - since August??

Well, I know it's been a while - but that truly surprised me. But then, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then....

I, in a word, got disenchanted - I had spread out my crafts among WAY too many venues - and for whatever reasons, none of them were doing anything much. A few people looked, some even commented - and it wasn't that I didn't like what I put out there - I love every single design. But...enough is enough!

I dumped them - all of them. Well - except for this blog and the website (with very little on it) that shares the name with the blog. Quit Etsy, Artfire, ByMe, Handmade....and those that I cannot even remember (you know you are stretched too thin when you can't remember them all). Took a bit of time to do that.

Then I did more thinking....why is it that I seem to be 'forever learning' - that I am a 'jack of all trades, but master of none?' I am just so fascinated by all the techniques and materials out there....I just want to try them all! I still do! So...what to do, what to do??

Should I just continue with trying out all the things I can (and I have a LOT of 'stuff' to experiment with) - or try and pick one and become very proficient at that. Do any of you have that problem? Am I the only one doing this? Lol! Maybe I am (please leave me a comment if you are....would be nice to know I'm not alone in this!)

So...for now...I'm picking an area - and then I'm revisiting what I've already done with it....and then try new things - to become more proficient...and explore other ways to use it!

So...I'm back....with camera in hand (need to build a light box) - so stay tuned for whatever it is that I decide to try first!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Cleanin' Up - Naturally!

I have been thinking of this idea for quite some time - ever since I made some for gifts last Christmas - and now would like to share, in hopes that some of you would also like to give a 'natural' gift!

The 'cleanin' up' part, of course refers to soap - now, I am not one of those super-talented people who can get around lye and water and come out with something lovely and useful. I envy them, but I am not them. So...wanting to make this myself, I turned to a wonderful site I used before - Bramble Berry. They have such a huge selection, not to mention a wealth of information, but they are also responsive and helpful when you email with a question. This time, all I did was refresh my memory on the process - I've done this many times, but it's been a while!

I used two different bases for my efforts this time. The trusty clear glycerin melt-and-pour base, and a new one for me - a white opaque melt-and-pour base.

The white base I tinted a lovely shade of pink, using liquid colors made for soap - and the white base took to the color beautifully. I had a mold that was a lovely 3-D heart, and this just seemed to be the perfect color and shape for my Warm Vanilla scent (from Bramble Berry - so I know it is the proper quality, and meets all the standards for something you will be putting on your face). Oh, my - this looks and smells so good!

The clear melt-and-pour soap I tinted a gorgeous color of bright pink - not obsessed with the color, but the scent I wanted for this batch was pink grapefruit - so what other color could I possibly use? I used molds in geometric shapes for the soap, and when it was done - it smelled delicious! (not going to eat it, tho!)

The other half of my idea came from my desire to make something natural and from materials made here in the US. I have described elsewhere on this blog my less-than-successful search for that. I had researched knitting stitches - finding some that were reversible - so whichever side you look at, it is pretty! I wanted to knit face cloths out of cotton - a simple, natural fiber that would feel good on your skin.

For the warm vanilla pink heart soap, I decided to use pure white cotton - and I picked "Wonder White Cottontots" by Bernat - it is pure cotton, and is made in Canada (pretty close to our own USA as a source!). I had a pattern that made raised ridges in a diagonal pattern across the cloth, which not only gave it interest, but a mild scrubbing effect too!

For the wonderful pink grapefruit soaps, I picked another of my favorite colors - specifically "Cornflower Blue Sugar'n Cream" by Lily. This is also pure cotton, also made in Canada, and the most lovely shade of blue that contrasts so nicely with the bright pink of the soap! The pattern I chose for this was called "Inverness Diamonds" - such a pretty pattern!

Both cloths have a border all around them of 4 knit stitches, and measure right around 8" square. Not too big, not too small!

These will be going up on my Studio 2:14 website later this week - but I wanted to share just a bit of the background, and a couple of photos with you here first!

More options, colors and patterns coming soon!! When they hit the website, you will be able to buy the sets as shown, or each piece separately.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

They're Up!

Just a short post to let you all know that the "Fruit Of The Spirit" earrings are up on my new website - Studio 2:14 !

Now you can read the whole story - how I created them, and the list of the fruit along with the corresponding colors. It makes for pretty interesting reading! Come read what you don't know about some of our most familiar colors!

Tomorrow I'm changing gears, and putting up a craft...or maybe more....

Monday, August 17, 2009

Earrings Revised...and Revised....

I have a version of my "Fruit Of The Spirit" earrings on my iCraft site - but after they were done, although they were very pretty - half of the crystals weren't visible.

In the end, I didn't care for this - it may have made the earrings 3-D, but since there are 9 fruits, I wanted all 9 crystal beads visible too. I had an idea of how to accomplish this, and added incentive was a dear friend who is also a customer (thanks, Dee!). I made a new version - and all the crystals were now on the front side of the earring. Very pretty, and I was pleased to have my friend purchase them.

Then I got to thinking - what if I made the swirls smaller, making the crystal beads stand out would that look? Nothing would do but to try it - and when they were done, my heart and mind said "YES!" This is how I want them to look!

This is now the final revision - and the way I will be making this design from now on. The balance is just right. Tomorrow I hope to have them on my website, ready for sale, but wanted to give you a sneak peek here first!

The earrings are wire-wrapped - silver-plated 24 gauge wire over an oval base - just over an inch in length. There are nine separate wires, and each one holds a different color crystal - and completed with a spiral. Each one is then bent into shape around the oval to complete the earring. They are attached to sterling silver french earwires.

You'll have to wait to see these on my website Studio 2:14 to find out the colors of the crystals, and how each one represents a fruit of the Spirit - a list of these will be included with each pair of earrings sold.

I truly love this design - and welcome any feedback on them!

More to come tomorrow - both jewelry and other crafts....can't wait!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Wait Is Over - But I Didn't Win...

The big "reveal" happened this past week - and the email was in my inbox....what would it contain?

Alas....not good news - I was not one of the winners of the "Use the Muse II" contest - and I am very impressed with the entries that were! Go and take a look at the creativity - made me feel absolutely 'stodgy'!! Here are the winners!
Ah well, it was great fun to try and put something together with a pre-selected set of components - I've never done that before - so I've also learned something new while having fun! that the "Muse" has been revealed, I can show you my complete necklace that I entered in the contest....

The "Muse" component was the large doughnut focal bead from LillyPilly - quite an interesting piece - but not anything that I would have worn in any case. Maybe that showed in the design, I don't know.

Not sure if I'll spring to spend the money to enter the next one or not - thinking I'll scout around for some other "make and show" projects to do in the future! So...stay tuned!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sneak Peek for Babies..and more!

Been working away - and a happy circumstance brought back one of my favorite gifts to put on my new website! The happy circumstance was the birth of another grandchild - always a joyous event, and to mark the event, I made my Baby Keepsake for him.

It all starts with an 8 x 10" white mat - the kind you put in picture frames. Inside the mat went a baby feet print in blue on vellum. This gave it that sheen, and to me, makes it look a bit 'old fashioned' - like that for babies!

To decorate this I cut two squares of paper - a 1" scalloped edge square in a light blue like the baby feet in the background print.Over that went a slightly smaller square in a darker blue - this one embossed with the baby's first name initial - in this case "K". To give this a more 3-D appearance, I set them on some tiny glue dots that raised them off the background. The embossed initial square I accented with some Perfect Pearl pigments, thinned down and washed on just the initial.

Below that I glued one of my fine silver antique buttons to a little wooden peg that was painted in a complementary blue, and then glued the button/peg to the background.

Now came the tricky part....I wanted something to put a tiny little scroll in with the verse of Psalm 139 that inspired the Keepsake - and decided that I needed to create a pattern for some miniature booties. Took a while (thank goodness little Kai was a bit slow in coming - at least for me!) to create the pattern in the right size AND find the right yarn/fiber to make it out of - remember the 'hunt for American-made yarn?' I did succeed - and got them made in the right shade of 'Warm Blue' - kinda liked the title of the thread color! The booties each measure 1 1/8" long by 1" tall. I attached the booties to links of silver-plated chain that looked to me like twisted ribbon and then hung the pair of booties from the silver button. Just right!

The final touch was the addition of the scroll and the printed info. The scroll was rolled up (it measured 2 3/8" x 7/8 " - tiny!) around a toothpick, and tied with a bit of yarn into a tiny bow. On the scroll was:
"For You created my inmost being
You knit me together in my mother's womb"
Psalm 139:13

Slipped in at the bottom of the frame was the parchment paper with the Baby's full name, day of arrival, weight and height in a very pretty font. On the back of the mat, I glued a piece of white cardstock to finish the back, and printed and glued the entire Psalm 139 - so the parents would know where the verse on the scroll had come from.

It turned out just wonderful. The last touch was to get some cardstock easel mounts so that the entire frame could stand on its own.

Needless to say - it was a huge hit! Later this week this will go on my website, but I wanted to share it with y'all here first! Here are a couple of
photos -

I also will be making a pink version for little girl babies - and, if there is interest, perhaps yellow, green and lavender - who says everything must be blue or pink?

On a related note - the quest for American made yarn/thread to make my crafts with did not succeed with this - but I could not find anything in the proper weight and fiber to use!
I fell back on an old brand I have used since forever - Royale Fashion Crochet Thread - size 3 - by JP Coates Company - made in India. I'll keep looking - and if anyone knows of an American made thread in this weight and colors - please let me know!!

Still no word on the necklace contest - am hoping that there will be word this coming week!
Meantime....more cotton and suds coming up soon!! (and that's not drinking variety suds!).

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Copper Wire and Cotton...

Making some slow progress on my new website - and now I have added another product!

I had run out of silver wire - and while waiting for the new shipment to arrive, I considered the stash of copper wire I had on hand....and it got me thinking...

Don't want to give too much here is a sneak peek at a photo of them - and invite you to go and check out the progress on my website, and read the story behind my 2pence Earrings!

I am really liking my experiments with wire-wrapping - and have a lot of new things in the wings...almost ready for unveiling! And...when I do, there will be a give-away! So check back often...

Note on another subject....the "Use The Muse II" contest - there was an update, but no decision on winners as of yet....there were evidently a LOT of entries! But....soon as they post the winners, I'll let you know here - could it be with a prize attached??

And cotton search! I have had a real hard time finding cotton to use in my new ideas (coming soon!) - but perseverance won out on the one hand - and on the other - I had to temporarily give in - but not for yarn from China...tiny victory there.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Directions, Thoughts, and a Bit of a Rant!

Been a bit of time since I last posted - but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy! I have been, both in thinking and doing! Making a few changes as a result of all that thinking, and hopefully it will be a positive change. I know I am liking it very much - and hope you all will too!

I did a lot of going over things on my various venues where I have my jewelry - and wondering yet again why sales just aren't there. After a careful and thoughtful look at it all, I have decided that my jewelry doesn't really reflect who I am, and doesn't really have a particular focus and theme. It is a mish mash of techniques and try-outs - which is not a bad thing - but some things maybe should just be used for learning purposes - that may come in handy later.

I came to a decision about the direction my efforts and my jewelry will take. I have long been a committed Christian - and that really is how I define myself, but that just never came through on most of my jewelry. Now and then it peeked through, but that was not the central focus and purpose behind what I created. Now it will be. I am not intending to change any of the things I have already made - I love them all, and will leave them up on all the venues they are currently on, such as iCraft, Zibbet, and Craftstylish.

To launch this new direction - I am taking my blog name (well, variation of), and since I own the domain name, I am building a brand new site for my new creations. The site is called Studio 2:14 - and, like this blog is named after 2nd Chronicles, Chapter 2, verse 14:
...He is trained to work in gold and silver, bronze and iron, stone and wood, and with purple and blue and crimson yarn and fine linen. He is experienced in all kinds of engraving and can execute any design given to him. He will work with your craftsmen and with those of my Lord , David your father.

I love this quote because it refers to all kinds of crafting skills - and I have always believed that God gave me some modest talents to create things. Now I am using my Christian beliefs as the basis for my designs.

Right now there is only one product on the site, and it is definitely a work in progress - and most of the links do not work yet - even so - I invite you to go take a look - there will shortly be two more. I will also be putting other kinds of crafty gifts - I have ideas for baby and for personal goodies - all of which I love - and all of which have their inspiration from the Scriptures. I am truly enjoying this new adventure, and hope you will join me in supporting my efforts!

A related note - when looking for (of all things) dishtowels - being annoyed to no end at the current cost of paper towels - I had a long and unsuccesful hunt for something in what I consider a reasonable cost, and you know why? Everything in the stores now seems to be made in China. I guess I don't get out much, but I was shocked that there was so little that was made in the USA. My hunt was limited, and doesn't involve any high-end stores, or malls - so the results may be skewed, but it made me mad. So....I thought....I'll just make them - I mean it's not rocket science to make a decent-sized dish towel, right? Ha! Guess what - all the suitable fabrics (mostly waffle weave muslin) are.....wait for it......made in CHINA. C'mon folks, I mean really! I mean ALL of them. So, I gave up on that idea, because I refuse to buy into the China owns us syndrome. I still have no dish towels.

That brought up the idea for making - not dish towels - but wonderful soft cotton face and bathing cloths for adults and off I went on another hunt. I needed cotton yarn for them - and although I love organic - that was out of my price range - but I absolutely was not going to make anything from cotton from anywhere but here (and Canada). It was a search (and thank you! for the law that makes them put the country of origin on things), but I did find that! So...they will be appearing on my site soon.

Ok...done ranting for now...(I have more, but that will have to wait!)

Stay tuned, and I'd sure like some feedback - good or bad - I just request that remarks be civil (or they will be removed). Let me know what you think of my new direction...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Features and Contests, Oh My!

As usual, been too long - but finally have the time and inspiration to get back on track!!

First - a feature! I was so thrilled and excited to be featured on the Handcrafted Creations Blog!! What a boost to my spirits to see my creations on here! I wanted to shout to the world - lookee here!! I want all of you to share in my excitement too - so check it out!
A huge thanks to Victorian Joanne for the kind words and wonderful layout of my craft creations! You all need to follow her blog - it is chock full of interesting things!!

As if that weren't enough excitement for one week - I also have been working on an entry to the "Use the Muse II" contest on The Beader's Muse website. I thought this was such a cool idea - everyone who entered got the same set of components - plus a "Muse" focal element. It was totally up to the entrant to create a piece of 'wearable art' out of these components - and any other goodies from our own stash. It was great fun! We are allowed to show a part of what we did - but - the "Muse" element has to remain a secret until the judging is complete and the winners announced!

In that spirit - here is a 'part' of the necklace I created with these wonderful bits and pieces:

The entry deadline was yesterday (I sent mine in a little early) - and now the waiting! The winners won't be announced for two - three weeks - and it's not the kind of thing where you can go vote - it is up to the chosen judges. The prizes are fabulous - so I'm really hoping!!! Stay'll know soon as I do!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Last of the "Lollies"

I have been way too busy - and have moved some of my craft things back into the house - the studio is just too hot to work in without AC. Hoping to find a window unit on sale after the 4th - I sure miss being out there with ALL my things around me!

But...I have been concentrating on a couple of new things. One...I am practicing my photography - and it is paying off. I am learning how to stage my jewelry, how to get a good picture, and interesting close-ups that show the detail. I am pleased with my progress - and hope to continue getting better.

I have also been working on 'thinking outside the box' - that is - my box. Trying to use materials and sizes I have not done before - and it has been fun! I have a small collection of pretty lucite beads - larger than I normally would think of using - and that was enough to decide I should use them! And, you know.....I liked my experiment! I love how they turned out, so wanted to share the last two in the series here before they go up on my shop at iCraft!

I called this collection "Lollies" because the colors and shapes of the beads reminded me instantly of lollipops that I used to get as a kid. The colors are fun and vibrant, and surprisingly lightweight for the size. They aren't huge - the beads average about 1" - but that is a departure for me, who uses more of the 4mm kind! I named the "Lollies" each after a fruit that the color suggested to without further ado...

Here are the "Lemon-drop Lollies" earrings. They are framed by smaller crackle glass beads and are hanging on Sterling silver french earwires.

And now for the last of the series - since these weren't a 'color' at all, but were frosty white - they reminded me of ice! But I named them "Frosted Lolly Earrings" - and that seemed to be the completion of this series. It has been fun!

Here they are:

So....there you have it! A 'sneak peek' at the last of the series before they go to the shop! And if you'd like to own them before they go out there....just shoot me an email at

and I'll get right back to you with special 'one-time-only' pricing! The rest of the series can be viewed at my iCraft Shop - I would love it if you'd check them out and send me some feedback!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Little Off-Topic But Handy Hint!

I ran across this neat little thingy yesterday as I was writing the post on my Garden Lantern earrings. Since I occasionally sell my crafts right from my blog (even before they hit my iCraft store!), it is necessary for people to be able to contact me.

I have been doing the 'spell-out-the-words' of the email address, but then I found a very cool way to do this, and defeat (at least for a while) the spammers from getting it! I found this little gem of a website through one of the blogs I read, called "Gizmo's Daily Tech Treats. They sometimes have the coolest stuff! I learned that what I had been doing is called 'munging' your email. Interesting word!

This website I found thru Gizmo is called - and it not only takes your email address and makes it an image (which spammers HAVE learned to decipher) - but also mixes up the colors and fonts. You even get to pick the color for the first part of the image!
I went and used it - you can get your little image - and then delete it forever from thier servers (course I realize I am trusting that they do this - but makes sense or they would have a huge amount of images piling up!). Once you have it - then you can use it in your blog and feel just a bit safer!

Here it is again.....

Is that not the coolest thing ever??
More to come....stay tuned....

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

All Sorts of Sparkle and Shine!

I got in some wonderful crafting time in my studio - thanks to a decision to 'just do it' and the cooperation of the weather being cool and breezy. The combination of the ceiling fan and the open window and door made the studio very comfortable. I put on my favorite Christian station, and pulled my chair up to the 'beading' section of my studio.

Right away I saw these neat tube beads, made from (I believe) buri nuts. The shape was really pleasing to me, as was the subtle lavender shade and translucent look. They looked like they were lit from within! I've had them for a while, but no ideas had come to mind for them....and I've learned to just let things be...until an idea simmers its way to the surface.

I had out a collection of silvery bead caps (just hadn't put them away yet...) and when I got them out and strung them with the buri beads...they looked to me just like tiny garden lanterns you might string outside to light a summer evening. Oh, yeah! I was liking this.

They were too small (even for me) on their own - so I looked around for just the right thing to finish them up.....and then I spied a small envelope...and inside were antiqued silvery connector links in the shape of flowers. Perfect! This fit so well with my idea of the little garden lanterns, I knew they would be just the thing for the earrings. So...on they went, and I just love the result!

I have a limited amount of both the nut beads and the flower connectors - so I thought I would show them off here, and let you in on a bargain too! They'll be here for just a few days....then they'll go to my shop, and the price will go up!

Here they are:

As always - any and all comments are welcome - let me know what you think!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Features and Discounts For You!

Since May, I have been participating in a "Sellers' Bootcamp" on the site. That is where I have my shop, and the folks running the site are going the extra mile to help all the crafters (hand-made only) to showcase and sell their creations.

As part of this, IndieSmiles has given us a feature on their website - and you get all the benefits! Every 'bootcamper' participating in the IndieSmiles promotion is discounting all the items in their shops for the next two weeks! You have to check it out! There is such a diversity of great things to drool over....from neat pillows from PillowThrowDecor (who also is the genius behind the bootcamp!) to cool lotions and soaps from Naturliche.....and more jewelry - like the wonderful creations of GalleriaLinda.

I was astonished to be told I had won a feature 'showcase' on the IndieSmiles site as part of their promotion!! Wow - a whole little feature, just about little ole me! I was honored, and am so grateful to be chosen for this! You can see the feature - and find out more about me....right here!

What a week! And now...I am truly hoping to get into the studio - hot or not - and make some new things - I have really been feeling 'crafting-deprived!'

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

More Wire-y Fun!

I was taking some time out in the studio - not so often now...there's no air out there, so I'm relegated to early morning, or evening (maybe). I did get some time in - and decided to just play and see what I came up with.

I was thinking of the Fruits of the Spirit - and thought they would be a nice basis for a pair of earrings....I took an oval wire shape (thanks Beadalon!), and began wrapping it with 24 gauge wire - then leaving a long-ish tail. I alternated directions of wrapping, so that every other one would naturally either go to the front or back. Once that was done, they looked very odd and spikey - but the wrapping I was pleased with.

Then I got out my precious box of Swarovski crystal bicone beads - all those sparkly colors! I began putting a different color on each spike, then making a spiral with the wire tail to give it interest, and keep the crystal on. I continued with each spike, turning them either to the front or back - and when I was done - I loved the oval shaped filled with swirls and bright bits of color - perfect!

The oval accomodated nine spikes - which just happens to be how many fruits of the spirit there are....and gave each color a corresponding fruit:
Joy..................clear/AB finish
Faithfulness ........amythest
Gentleness..........antique rose

Somehow the colors just seemed to go with the least to me! I attached them with two tiny Argentium jump rings to sterling silver french earwires.....just a lovely sight!!

Here is how they turned out.....and you're seeing them before they hit my iCraft store!!

Thought it appropriate to photograph them on a leaf...

A closer view....

And the reverse side....just as pretty as the front....I like that!

As always.....any feedback is much appreciated!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Where There's A Will.....

I remarked the other day on twitter ( that now that I have a brand new computer - I am finding out which of my trusted and true programs are not compatible
with Vista. This time it was hardware - my beloved scanner, that I have been using since 1999 (!) is not compatible with Vista. According to the Epson website and Vista - they do not have a driver for it to make it compatible - and don't plan to. Bummer!

I disconnected it and put it in the other room.....until...I remembered my trusty old laptop (from 2004) - was out in my studio - and it has Windows XP on it! YAY! Took that scanner out to the studio, re-arranged the furniture a bit to find a horizontal space to set the scanner - and fired it up - viola! Back in business!!

On the same kind of note - as some of you may know, I have been trying for weeks (or is it months?) to make a new canopy top for our gazebo on our back deck. Last year a strong storm took out the old one (made of really awful fabric - ripped when you looked at it wrong). So, here I've been, with my 13 yards of lightweight fabric called ripstop - hopefully, it'll live up to that, trying to re-create that top. And was done!!! The moment of truth - for if it didn't fit - I was done. That fabric is wonderful, but so slick it keeps sliding off the table! Took it outside - put it on.....and all six section pockets FIT the ends of the six spines of the top - it's not the prettiest thing I've ever done....but it WORKS! Even better - ever since, we have had rainstorm after rainstorm - winds - just awful weather.....and that top survived it all!! Cost me about $100 to make it, but worth every penny - and now, we can enjoy our gazebo again!!

As long as we're off topic (can you tell I haven't had any time to make jewelry this week?) - I have been doing more web work - for which I do get paid....and for a new project, I was looking for a free flash slideshow program. I must have looked at twenty of them - and I truly dislike the ones that 'say' they are free, then tell you all your images will have a watermark, and banner ads all over the place. Guaranteed I would never buy that one!
I did find a cool one, though - it is called the Photo Flash Maker - Free Version, and it's pretty customizable - I fooled with it a little, more to be done - but I was pleased at what I came up with in just a few minutes - it's very easy to use! Check out the results on my site that I have yet to develop! - would appreciate any feedback! And, it you'd like to snag it for yourself, here's their website: Photo Flash Maker-Free Version

Now....this weekend I AM taking some time to play in the studio - have some more wire ideas - can't wait to share them.....til then....

Friday, May 29, 2009

Now for the other earrings...

Stealing another moment, just because I wanted to share my other wire-wrapping technique with y'all. The earrings started out as an experiment - and I really like how they turned out.

I have been wanting to try mixing metals for some time now, and it is a big trend in jewelry right now - the look is different and fresh, and gives a whole new flavor to designs! I basically just wove a thinner silver-color wire over and under around a thicker copper wire shape. They actually shaped themselves as I wrapped, which I thought was way cool. It was much easier than I thought it was going to be - and opened up a whole new world of possibilities! Look for more of these experiments in the very near future!!

Here are the earrings:

So...that's it! I would love to hear what you think of them.....

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Never-Ending Story...

It just seems that once this ball starts finds a hill and goes down it! Got my new machine working....there was a conflict between my online backup ( - a great program!) and my anti-virus. The anti-virus lost, as the subscription was almost up - so switched over to Internet Security by PC Tools. So far am liking it - and no conflicts (meaning no 'blue screen of death').

Then had a problem with the host of 12 of my websites that I manage for a client....they 'help' folks were less than helpful. So....I just said, if we can't resolve it, I will go elsewhere. They didn't seem too I moved them. Found the BEST host ever! If you need a host for your website, with a reasonable cost, and a real commitment to customer service - check out - you won't be sorry! And, guess what....the problem the other folks just couldn't solve? Done - right away. Ahhhh....such a rare treat - someone who cares!

Needless to say....guess what suffered? Yep - making jewelry...sigh. I did get a couple of things done in between all this really fun stuff. They are all over at my site on iCraft - but I wanted to show them off here too....might be a tutorial on them coming...

Here's one - my cobweb earrings and necklace pendant:

And the necklace:

More to come!!