Saturday, December 28, 2013

Focusing on Life:Saying Goodbye

Focusing on life has been the most interesting challenge I have ever done. It made me look at things differently. I cherish the friends that I have made on this adventure. Saying goobye is always hard. I kept trying to think of something more interesting than a hand waving which would not have looked good in a picture. I have heard the saying finish with a flourish. Friday morning when I opened my curtains Mother Nature had provided me with a flourish. I thought it was a fitting way to say goodbye so I grabbed my camera. I am so glad that Sally decided to extend this challenge. I will be seeing those of you who are joining the group next year. I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year. To see how everyone else is saying goodbye click on the link to Sally's blog

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Focusing on Life:Together

I know that I am late to the party this week. I went to visit my Mom for a couple of days. Sally's prompt this week was together. I can not think of a more charming couple than Santa and Mrs Santa. They are truly together for all time. This salt and pepper shaker set is one I am very fond of.. Sally has been such a wonderful hostess for this Focusing on Life. She seems to prompt us with the perfect words each week. I have really enjoyed checking in with all of the other participants each week. It has helped me be a better photographer and I gained  a better insight of myself. I am glad that Sally is extending this challenge for another year. I will be part of it next year too. Please checkout how all of the other participants photos for their take on togetherness at Sally's blog  

Friday, December 13, 2013

Today is the reveal for the 3rd Annual Holiday Ornament Hop by our talented hostess Sally Russick of It is my first time in an ornament exchange. I have been making Christmas ornaments since the early 80's. I have embroidered, knit, beaded, painted, glued and framed ornaments. I thought that I would be too busy last year when I saw the sign-up's. When I looked at the hop ornaments that others had made I wished I would have joined in. I made sure to get in on the fun this year. Sally paired me with the one and only Lori Anderson of Bead Soup fame. She made me the most amazing ornament. The art bead is by Keysha Whitsel of Isn't it gorgeous?  Lori made a wire frame to showcase the awesome art bead and she embellished it with white pearls, aqua glass triangles, and rosy pink crystal bicones. The colors that she used are my favorites. When I opened my package it took my breath away. It is a one of a kind that I will treasure for the rest of my life. I am so lucky to have a Christmas ornament personalized for my by Lori. The picture that she sent is on top because she is a much better photographer than I am. The second photo I took and it includes the lovely rosy pink hand knitted scarf that she included in my package. I am so lucky.  Please got to see the ornament that I made for her. If you want to see more great Christmas ornaments check out the link below

Focusing on Life: A Pop of Red

A pop of red was the prompt for the Focusing on Life photo challenge. Since my Christmas decorations are up I saw red everywhere making it difficult to choose which photo to use. In the end I picked this ornament that I made in 2003. It was in Bead and Button magazine. That was before I did my own designs. I have a shelf above my tv and the ornament hangs there. For our 25th anniversary my husband took me to Niagara Falls. On the way there we stopped in Frankenmuth, Michigan at Bronner's Christmas Store (One of the largest Christmas Stores in the world) I purchased a pair of ornament turners when we were there that plug into a light strand. When the light strand is plugged in this ornament turns. The beads sparkle and shine with the movement. I love the satin finish red of this ornament and it is so beautiful when it moves.The focusing on life challenge that I have participated in this year has expanded my world in several ways. I know more about who I am. I take better photographs and best of all I connected with several other jewelry artists. I will miss my Saturday morning visits with all the other bloggers. I want to Thank Sally Russick of for being a wonderful hostess and inspiring all of us to be better photographers and to look at things in a new way. To see where the other participants found pops of red please visit Sally's blog at the link above.

If you have been following my blog you know that I have been designing for . Today the winter 2013-2014 issue of the Glossi that they produce is available for viewing. It is called "Creative Spark."  The picture above is the cover. My pearl designs for the last challenge are part of this Glossi. To go along with the release Znetshows is having a giveaway of some of their beads and components. Their products are wonderful to work with. Here are the details about the giveaway  "
In the virtual pages you'll find over a HUNDRED designs from members of our design team who were given the 'challenge' of using pearls for this issue. In addition, there are four tutorials, a list of unique ways to sell your jewelry, peeks into our creative spaces, some funnies, and so much more. You should totally go take a look.
We'd also LOVE for you to share the Glossi with others via Social Media. As a matter of fact, we'll have a GIVEAWAY of some ZnetShows beads and components for those who share Creative Spark in some way. It's easy to do too. Once the Glossi loads, there are buttons on the right of it to share on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, G+, and Pinterest. Share Creative Spark in one of those ways and leave us a comment BELOW THE GLOSSI to let us know where you shared it (a link to your share would be great) and how to reach you (your e-mail) and you're entered for the Giveaway. (At this time, members of the Design Team are not eligible for the giveaway.) The giveaway will be open through the rest of this year!
So go, read, enjoy our latest venture and we'd love to know what you think and if it gives you a Creative Spark!" Here is the link to view Creative Spark

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Focusing on life:Add Some Sparkle

Sally picked a very appropriate theme this week. I am in the process of decorating my Christmas tree. Christmas trees have lots of sparkle. Last year my son bought me a Swarovski ornament. I have wanted one for a long time and I finally got one. To the left  of it you can see part of a shell tree that he brought me back from the west coast when he went on his high school graduation trip. To the right part of a beaded ornament that I made a couple of years ago. My tree is really special to me. My boys from a very young age knew that I liked Christmas ornaments so since my birthday is in the fall I often receive ornaments for my birthday.  I made it a habit to get an ornament when we went on a trip or had a special dinner out. I even go so far as to record them in a book as to who they came from and when I got or made them. In the early 80's we started making ornaments each year. We turned wooden ornaments, etched glass, embroidered, knitted, glued shells together, beaded ornament, and one year we decorated eggs from our chickens.I have ornaments as old as the 1930's and from many countries of the world.  Each year as I put up my tree I get to relive memories.
I am proud of my stocking. I got the kit for it at a car show. The only part of the kit that I used was the fireplace bricks. The rest of it was just used for patterns. I made it from white velvet. The tree is from the dress I wore in my sister's wedding when I was 13. The black in the fireplace is from upholstering the seats in our 1966 Impala. The fire is birch twigs from our farm. The flames I painted on plastic. My bulldog Rose was a cat in the kit. My husband made the picture frame from scrap teak wood that we brought home from the yacht factory where we both worked for a short time. The train my son made. I curled yarn for the girl and dolls hair on toothpicks. It is laying on the coffee table in the pic because I haven't found the hanger yet.
The angel that tops my tree I also made. I used the upper torso, head and 1/2 of the arms from a doll. I cleaned and painted the porcelain, set the eyes and attached the wig. Her dress has a lace panel that I beaded many years before beading became my obsession. Her cape is from the white velvet that I used on the stocking. It is lined with gold lame'.  The wings are from a white dove. Did you know that the difference between fairies and angels is that fairies have bug wings and angels have bird wings? Her halo is brass wire. You can see part of one of the chicken eggs that I painted. I hope that others of you are enjoying decorating for Christmas as much as I am. To see what the other participants are showing for sparkle click on Sally's blog link