Monday, November 29, 2010

Malibu Beach, California...

I love the Pacific Ocean.  My heart belongs to the area around Northern California and Oregon, but I've got love for  the Southern California beach.  This is Malibu Beach.  
This is some kind of cool kelp that was all over the shore.  When you stepped on it, it made a popping noise.  I have plans to figure out what this is exactly.
I could have sat there all day long and watched the girls play had it been just a little less windy.    I still sat there for as long as I could.  Closing my eyes with the wind in my face and the sun on my back.  Breathing in the salty, Ocean air.  Pure Heaven I tell you.  Pure Heaven.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

What the?

Seriously?  Less than 4 weeks until Christmas?  When in the heck did that happen?  I don't even have my tree up yet!
Christmas 2009

I just got back last night from a week long trip to Southern California and was feeling a bit reflective this morning.  I really enjoyed getting out and taking 100% of my time to enjoy the moment I was in.

Not worrying about anything but what we were doing at the moment.

It's easy to do that while on vacation.  But too easily forgotten when you jump back into your regular schedule.

There isn't a time of year that I love more, or get stressed out about more than Christmas.  So many things going on, so many things you feel obligated to do.

So, I sat myself down this morning and had a stern talk with myself.  I'm not going to try to do everything.  I'm not going to put my girls in matching outfits, curl their hair, beg and plead with them not to get the hair messed up, sit still, don't wrinkle your outfit, on and on... and take them to the Gaylord and take their pictures. And at the end of it all, they hate it, I hate it, my husband and I will be fighting because I was so stressed out I snapped at him.....bah!

I want to keep it simple.  I don't want to feel the anxiety to get my tree up NOW! Rushing the girls along.  Hurry up, let's get this done...


I'm going put the radio on the Christmas station, make hot chocolate, and we're going to take our time pulling each ornament out of it's year long wrappings.  Talk about each ornament, where it came from.

More often than not, it will have a story.  What we were doing at that time in our lives when it was added to our tree.

So we won't have a fancy picture this year.  So what?  I bet I'll be able to catch true joy on their faces by really being in the moment and enjoying an activity together.

Hopefully the memories we create in taking the little things, and enjoying them, really enjoying them will make the best memories of all.

That's the plan anyway...

P.S.  This font is horrible. I thought I'd try something new, but you can hardly read it.  sorry guys.  I can't figure out how to change it.  But I won't be using it again!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Giveaway Time!!!!

Her name is Sonora Sunrise.  Named after the stone that is the center of this lacy design.
Rich in shape and texture, a filigree fantasy!  All metal components, save the chain have been hand formed by me.  One at a time.  Formed with patience and joy...
This stone hails from Sonora, Mexico by way of lapidary artist Terry Williams.  It has only a hint of the green typically found mixed with the red of Sonora Sunrise stones.  A beautiful mixture of deep red and orange it is a beautiful stone.
Adjustable from 16" to 22", the sterling textured chain closes with a hand crafted hook clasp.  I have attached faceted cuts of carnelian beads to add a pop of color to the chain as well.
The back features a hand crafted sun, and the name of the piece, along with my initials and a sterling hallmark.  :)

I made this necklace especially for this giveaway.  I wanted it to be something really special, and I think I've succeeded!

I have fabulous fans, followers, friends, and customers.  I appreciate all the support you give me throughout the year.  And I don't just mean when you purchase something from me.  I appreciate the hearts in my Etsy shop, the comments on my blog, when you "like" something I post on FaceBook.  I appreciate the comments on my Flickr photos, and when you come to visit me at my show, even if you just stop by to say Hi.

I appreciate having you all along for the ride as I continue on my path.  So, here are the rules:

1.  If you purchased something from me in the months of November and December, you are automatically entered in the drawing.

2.  If you are a current FaceBook follower, you are automatically entered.

Now here's what you can do to earn extra entries:

3.  Become a follower of this blog.

4.  "Like" my business page on  FaceBook.

5.  Add me as a contact on Flickr.

6.  Add my shop as a favorite on Etsy.

7.  Suggest my page to your friends on FaceBook.  You as well as your friend will receive an extra entry for the drawing.  (email me with the names of your friends so I know to give you the extra entries!)

8. Post this drawing on your blog, twitter, facebook, etc... for extra entries.   (leave a separate comment for each time you post this drawing!)

And...I think that's it!!  Please leave me a separate comment for each action.  This will make it easier to choose the winner by a random generator.

This giveaway will end on December 18 at midnight CST.  This will give me time to get this beauty in the mail to you.  Just in time to receive a wonderful gift for the Holidays!!!

Let the games begin!!!  :) :) :)  I am so excited!!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Happy Pre-Holidays!!

I have been going through my shop all morning, and still have more editing to do, but I am so excited I just needed to tell you all now.  I'm having a pre-Holiday sale in my shop!!!  I went through each and every item, and marked a lot of items down by 20%.  If an item is not on sale in my shop, then it is already listed at the best price.

I put up a picture of my Holiday wrap,  and I am also offering direct shipping to your gift recipient.  I've been thinking about this sale for awhile now.  I really wanted to be able to offer a sale that would give my fabulous customers a bit of a break when purchasing Holiday gifts this year.

Some of my best stuff is included in the sale.

I hope you get a chance to drop in and check it out.  You can visit the sale section in my shop by clicking here:

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

by the sea

I have dithered long enough. I have let my fear of working with large stones keep me from working with the gorgeous stones I have been collecting for several months I decided to test the waters. Dip my toes in, if you will. And guess what I found? The water is warm, and inviting. The deepest of deep blues. I found my courage, it was waiting for the sea.

Set oh so simply, but this stone doesn't need anything fancy.  It sings loud enough on it's own...It can be found here:

Monday, November 8, 2010

Don Norris

I'm making this ring that I want to put a wide band on. The stone is a whopping beauty. It's gonna need a wide band. So, I made a wide band, and I like it, but I'm thinking it needs to be tapered somehow. Then I remember that I have a "class" on DVD that covers wide bands.

And that got me thinking about the teacher of the only metalsmithing class I have taken. Don Norris, Learn Silver. This guy is a character. I mean, you can see his style, and that's exactly what he taught us to make. I knew when I signed up for the class, that I wasn't really into his style, but I figured I could get the basics down.

And I did. I learned a lot from Don. He also sells these DVDs. They are terrible. They are all shot from dons view while he solders, or works, or whatever. Like he's holding the camera in one hand and filming while working with the other. And no editing. It's ghetto fabulous though. If you can get past all his blabbing, and his taste so not like your own, and just watch the skill he's teaching, well then you can get a basic idea of how things work.

He fancies himself quite the artistic rebel. Uses all kinds of substitutes for proper tools.
Taught us to only use hard solder. And don't be afraid to pile it on.

The truth is, there is no better teacher than trial and error and just getting out there and start trying stuff out.  Some of the things I learned from don work the way he said they would. And some of his ways just don't work for me.

So, I give you the joy that is Don Norris the only teacher I have known. Note what he is using as a bezel pusher....

Friday, November 5, 2010

I just got Lost...

Wanted to embed this one for you, but can't.  So here's a link I can never get enough of ColdPlay, and this version with Jay Z is gave me chills.