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Monday, January 31, 2011

January Featured EtsyBlogger

The featured EtsyBlogger for the month of January (yes, I WILL get this posted in January!) is Joy. Her Etsy shop, TheArtofJoy, features a very clever idea…PDF’s for you to customize for party invitations, announcements and calendars. Look at this cute baby shower invitation!
Baby shower invitation
Joy’s blog is great – CreativeMamma.com. It’s so incredibly well organized! It’s all about balancing your family and your creativity. There are recipes, craft ideas, giveaways, links to other sites of interest to moms, and even free printables! Not to mention links to her Etsy shop and some of her other favorite Etsy shops. You really should check it out…especially all you moms out there reading this.
Joy's blog
You can find Joy on Flickr here
And Twitter here
And Facebook here
Joy contributes a lot to the EtsyBloggers team. And very soon, if it hasn’t happened already, Joy will be welcoming the newest member into her family. Let’s all congratulate Joy and wish her well in both her family and her creative endeavors!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Crystal Pendant in an Etsy Treasury

Today my Swarovski Crystal Heart Pendant was included in a new Etsy treasury called "Clear? Crystal!". It's a very pretty treasury, don't you think? I'm honored to have my crystal pendant included.My crystal heart pendant in an Etsy treasury
This pretty treasury was created by TUTreasures. She sells vintage and reclaimed jewelry supplies and also jewelry she makes from reclaimed materials. Please take a look at her shop! I am very into recycling and reusing so I cerainly want to promote her efforts. Thank you so much for including me!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Two New Bracelets

I've been in bracelet mode lately. I recently got a request for a mother's bracelet from the friend of a previous customer that I did some custom jewelry for. This latest request was for the customer's mother's upcoming birthday. After going through some alternatives for what to put on this bracelet, she decided on the first initial of her, her mother, her sister and her daughter. We decided to put a pair of birthstone crystals around each letter. Here is the finished bracelet. Finished mother's bracelet
My high school is having a benefit auction and is gathering donations for the auction. I decided to make a bracelet in the school colors, purple and white. I went to Notre Dame de Sion, or Sion for short. At first I was torn between NDS and SION as the letters on my bracelet, but I decided on SION. Wish I had had one of these when I was in high school! School bracelet
I have one more bracelet to make to donate to my son's high school auction. I need to get some little spacers to separate the letters, then I will be all set to make my RAIDERS bracelet. Then on to other things!

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Gift of Giving

I had checked out from the library a decorating book by Rachel Ashwell and have been looking at her web site recently, so when I discovered this book of hers, I reserved it at the library. I picked it up today and read it cover to cover. Just seeing the title and the cover photo, I assumed it would be about gift wrapping. It did include a section on wrapping gifts. But it included so much more also. The GIft of Giving
She talks about creating special gifts for people from flea market finds. Creating gifts by color or theme or culture. Her "wrapping" is not always wrapping, but some sort of extension of the gift to create a presentation. There are sections on floral displays and tea parties and just so many ways she comes up with to show people they are special to you.

It's a great book full of so many ideas! If you ever have the chance to take a look at this book, by all means do so!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lisa's Earrings in an Etsy Treasury

My light pink Lisa's Earrings (I just sold a pair last week, by the way - first Susan G. Komen donation of 2011) are featured in a new Etsy treasury. I recently joined the Handmadeology team. This pretty treasury was created by emakaye and features pink items for sale by members of this new team. Please go visit the emakaye Etsy shop. She sells beautiful handmade lampwork beads.

And please remember that when you order a pair of my Lisa's Earrings, the entire $5 purchase price amount goes to Susan G. Komen. I also have them in a bright pink color. Where else can you contribute $5 for a good cause and get a cute pair of earrings at the same time? New Etsy treasury

Saturday, January 15, 2011

New Swarovski Pendants

Today I spent a good portion of my day working on getting some Swarovski pendants that I made some time ago listed in my Etsy shop. Since I have a lot of heart-shaped ones, I thought it would be a smart thing to do to get them listed before Valentine's Day. I've taken all the photos, edited them to be the right size and have gotten three new pendants into my shop. Now I just need to get the rest of them listed.

These are all great colors that I have not had in my shop before. I think my favorite is the Fuschia AB, the bright pink one. I love the color! But you really can't go wrong with any color of Swarovski crystal, can you?
New Swarovski crystal pendants

Friday, January 14, 2011

New Year's Resolution

It's that time again...time for the January EtsyBloggers blog carnival. The question I chose to answer this month is
It's that time of year again! What's your New Years Resolution? Do you think it's a realistic one (will you accomplish your goal)?
My goal this year is to go to the fitness center on a regular basis. Throughout the year. The entire year. For the last couple years, I've worked out early in the year very religiously for about the first two and a half months of the year. And then in mid-March, we'd go skiing for spring break. As soon as we got home, high school baseball season would start and my fitness program came to an end. And then we moved into the summer season of travel baseball and there was still no more fitness center.

My goal last year was to make it to every varsity baseball game that I could since my son was a senior and that would be my last year of high school baseball. I did not miss one inning of high school ball in 2010, but I'd work long hours on the other days to make up for the days I had to leave early for baseball. But now that Joe is off in college (and might get red-shirted), I figure I won't be going to as many baseball games as in the past. I'm going to make a sincere effort to work out three times a week. And if I miss a week, I'll get back on schedule the next week.

So far, I've done well. My first regular trip to the fitness center was 12/27. Since then, I've been nine times. I try to plan my week in advance so I know exactly what days I'll be going. My next day is tomorrow. So far, so good in going three times a week!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Handmade Cards

Well, I've been neglecting my blog lately. First I focused on getting all my Christmas decorations, my hundreds of ornaments and my tree all put away. Then over the weekend, I was doing some things, like making cookies and chex mix, before my son headed back to school. His nice 3-week stay came to an end on Sunday. (Sniff, sniff.) But now I'm returning to all the things I will hopefully have more time for with the holiday rush all behind me.

This wonderful book, Delight in the Details, was on my Christmas list and my husband gave it to me. I read it cover to cover on Christmas Day. Tons of great and different ideas for embellishing greeting cards, scrapbook pages, gift tags, frames, etc. Some different techniques are explained and illustrated very clearly. It's a great book. Delight in the Details
One day over my Christmas vacation I went to JoAnn's. It was a day that all their scrapbook paper collections were on sale. I bought some very pretty paper collections and couldn't wait to try some things in my new book. I started with some cards.

Here is the first card I made.Handmade card
I had never tried stitching on cards before, but after seeing this technique in the book, I decided to give it a try. Turned out quite well. There were some little flowers made by gathering ribbon into a circle, but I decided to do it with lace that was already slightly gathered to start with. I think the examples in the book used 12 inches of ribbon but since my lace started gathered, I didn't need nearly that much. And I saw some buttons used on cards, which I really liked. So I decided to start using up some of the tons of scraps of things that I have around my craft room.

I had a length of lace that I made 6 flowers from. I dug through my leftover button container and found some of these brown buttons. And I used up a scrap of this pink ribbon. I made three of these identical cards and realized it was great to put some of these scraps that I've had around for years to a good use finally. Here's a closeup of my flower.Lace flower

If you like scrapbooking, making greeting cards and similar paper crafts, take a look at this book. It includes many great techniques that I'm anxious to try.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Christmas Beads

A quick little post today, but something I wanted to share - one of the Christmas gifts I received. One of my very best friends since first grade sent me this wonderful assortment of beads for Christmas. I love the colors and the variety of beads! Can't wait to start creating with them! Thank you, Trudy!!!!Christmas gift beads

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Fleece Jacket

During my time off work at Christmas, I found a pattern I liked for a cute reversible jacket (2-hour sewing time), McCall's pattern
bought some fleece at JoAnn at 50% off, Pink and brown fleece fabric
Brown fabric
found the McCall’s pattern at Hancock’s for 99 cents (they were out of my size at JoAnn) and made my cute jacket. Here is a picture. Fleece jacket
I like the way it turned out. It was easy to sew but it’s hard to say exactly how long I spent on the sewing. The lining fabric I found was not exactly fleece. I’m not sure what you call this fabric, but it sheds terribly. It looks like short curly hair! My craft room was a mess when I finished cutting out the pattern pieces. Cutting table
Cutting table
And as I was sewing, I would stop periodically to vacuum this stuff off the floor, the ironing board, the walls…it was everywhere. Even in my mouth. So my choice of fabric definitely added some time to the project. I will probably not choose to use this type of fabric again for quite some time, but I do like the way it looks. I’m glad I finally found a project to do with fleece!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Soldered Pendants

Hi, everyone! Happy New Year! I wish everyone a happy and healthy 2011! I had 10 fun days off work, starting with Christmas Eve. But now it's time to go back to work tomorrow. Time flies when you're having fun! I had a ton of things on my to-do list while I was off, mostly fun things I wanted to do. I knew I would never get through the entire list, but I did get a lot of things accomplished.

One of the things on my list was to make some soldered pendants, including ones for Valentine's Day. This was one of my projects over this last weekend. I made 18 pendants and have photographed them all. Now I need to get them listed in my Etsy shop.

Here is a picture of my new pendants. All of them have a different picture on the reverse side, so it's like having two pendants in one. New Soldered Pendants
I purchased some collage sheets on Etsy some time ago and just bought another sheet of Valentine's images last week. Lauren Alexander is the artist who created the cute birds. The images of Paris and some of the other vintage-looking images are from Charmed Memory Collage. And some of the Cupids and the images that look more like vintage valentines are from Piddix.

I haven't made pendants in a while, so I had a great time doing it. And if I'm going to get all my stuff out, I might as well make a lot of them at one time. I'll start getting them listed tonight. If only there was time to do ALL the crafts I want to do, whenever I want to do them!