Tuesday, November 24, 2009

From Fun to Fancy

I can't believe I let a whole week get by without posting on my blog! My motto has always been "Too many projects, not enough time" and that sure stands true for this time of year. I am willing to bet I'm not alone. Thanksgiving is only two days away and while none of our family could make it home, we are having friends for dinner. Thankfully, they are the kind of friends who overlook a bit of dust or a craft project set up in the living room so I don't feel panicked. Friday and Saturday are market days for us this week. We are always open on Black Friday. Why we are open is a mystery because just about everyone goes to the malls and big chain stores to catch the bargains. Some brave souls do come to the craft market after they've hit the big city, so we will keep our fingers crossed.

Once Thanksgiving is out of the way, I have to start setting up for my home show. That means my house doesn't get decorated with our things until mid December which has Hubby a bit bent out of shape. Anything for an extra dollar or two in my book!
I've been crafting for that, and trying to keep the market and Etsy stocked, and fighting off a horrible case of the "why bothers". So, my friends, my blog has been forgotten.

I thought I'd share a few of the earrings I posted on Etsy today. Click on any title to go directly to their Etsy link

Christmas Lights - these are my least expensive (aka cheapest) earrings ever. I usually don't use plastic, but these were so tempting I just had to make earrings out of them.

Native Tears - These are made in honor of my ancestors. This pair is done in the color of the Seneca Nation, a beautiful purple.

Crystal Berries - Back to my favorite Swarovski Crystal!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Hummer Is Back

If you are among the folks who were disappointed when my Hummingbird necklace sold, cheer up, he's back! No, it is not exactly the same necklace. The bird itself is the same but the chain is slightly different than the last one. Each piece I make comes out just a bit different.

This is a popular necklace this year. This is the 3rd one I've made. I've had several folks tell me they are considering it for a Christmas gift. I am so thrilled he has been well received.

More details may be found on the listing page here: Bead Sculpture Hummingbird Necklace

Sunday, November 15, 2009

There Is Nothing Like Swarovski!

I really should get some sort of discount from Swarovski. I rave about them all the time. Wouldn't you think they would send me a few free crystals at least? I really, really, really do love their little gems. Noting, but nothing sparkles like a Swarovski crystal. Oh,there are plenty of imitators out there. Some try to fool you into thinking they are the real thing. I was at a big name chain craft store just recently and had some crystals in my hand that I thought I might try. Hanging on the rack they sparkled so nicely I thought maybe, just maybe I could talk myself into substituting them for the more expensive Swarovski. I was looking them over carefully when I realized it was the way they were packaged that made them look so good. There was a very cleverly positioned silver lazer type strip on the package right behind the "crystals". Take the beads away from that strip and they looked like any other imitation glass bead. No, there is still no credible competition for that Swarovski sparkle in my book.

Worried about the lead in lead crystal beads? I say poppy-cock! Unless you plan to sit and suck on your jewelry there is no danger. The lead is in the glass. It is chemically part of it. I don't see it leaching out into your skin in any huge amounts. The manufactures of lead crystal glasses say not to serve acidic drinks in them and they recommend not storing liquids in lead crystal. A few beads in your jewelry isn't going to harm you. I wouldn't recommend lead crystal for young children, because they do sometimes put things in their mouths that don't belong there. I did get a bit of an uneasy feeling when I saw nursing necklaces made of lead crystal. I've never done that! If you are still leery, just don't wear the crystal next to your skin. Earrings are a great way to show off your sparkle since the crystal part doesn't touch your skin, and unless you have very strange anatomy, there's no way to suck on your earrings!

Shown above are a couple of my newest Swarovski creations. I love making them and sharing them with you. Have a closer look here:

Red Swarovski Earrings

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Working On A Handmade Christmas

I have been advocating a handmade Christmas this year. Too much emphasis has been put on buy, buy, buy. Kids had lists of toys a mile long. Some of the things they want aren't even toys anymore. Adults seem to think they need every gadget that comes up on their TV screen. I get so tired of this "giveme" world I could just cry. The true meaning of Christmas is lost among the beeps, buzzes and multitude of cell phone ring tones. So this year I am trying to encourage others to have a handmade Christmas. I have half a dozen projects in the works myself. Some are going to be gifts, some I'm hoping to sell.

Yesterday was warm enough to open the windows for ventilation and work on some spray paint projects. I have a big box of pine cones I managed to wrestle away from the squirrels last year. Since pink and white seem to be popular Christmas colors I thought I'd give it a try. The pictures don't show it well, but these pretty cones are sprayed white and have pastel green and pink glitter on them. It is the fine glitter that doesn't show up in big ugly clumps, which I hate. That's why it's not popping off the screen at you, just subtle sparkles in green and pink. Just what to do with these pretties hasn't been determined yet. I have visions of a shabby chic wreath or garland.

I also started a knitting project for a family gift. That was frustrating. I only had to tear it out and start over twice - so far....

How about you? What projects do you have going? If there aren't any, you'd better get going. The holidays are only a few weeks away!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Beauty In a Cup of Tea

I am deviating from my normal type of posts, so please bear with me. My DH had to go 6 hours away to baby sit our Grandson this week while I stayed home to tend the store. I guess he felt bad that I had to stay home alone because last week he bought me some tea I have wanted for ages, but just couldn't afford. Today the weather here it is alternating between sunny and snowing or sleeting and it seemed like the perfect time to have a little tea party. I thought it was a shame to have such lovely tea alone, so I'm sharing it with all of my blog friends.

The name of the tea is Lover's Three Flowers and this is what it looks like before it is brewed. Below is what happens as it steeps after you've popped it the water.

After it has steeped for a while, you get this beautifully light tea. It tasted as wonderful as it looks!

Here are a couple more pictures of the open flower. The three flowers in this delight are Amaranth, Jasmine and Osmanthus. How exotic and romantic does that sound?

Finally, here is a before and after shot.

I just wish I could have invited you all to join me. Maybe next time, for as you see, I still have one flower left!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tree Jewelry

Sorry I haven't kept my blog up. This time of year it there just are not enough hours in a day. Besides trying to run the craft market, Etsy and ArtFire, it is my job to keep the leaves in our year at bay. If that were not enough, I took on the task of starting up a new jewelry team on Etsy and I decided I needed to do a home show in December to try and get a few extra sales. Consequently, my blog gets neglected!

I have jewelry coming out of every nook and cranny at the market and several hundred things that never even made it there so for the home show I am concentrating on decor items. I put my jewelry/stained glass skills to work and created these pretty little gems for the tree. Better yet, you can write on the back, so they can double as gift cards. I have about 6 done and another 50 or so waiting to be finished. The 4 sizes range from a 1.5 inch square to the 1.75 x 2.25 inch rectangle. They are paper, polymer clay and copper. Any pen will write on the back but I prefer my gold ink one, which of course I can't find. I think they would make a great gift tag because it is something that will be kept for years and not thrown away with the wrapping paper and ribbons. I sure hope other's think the idea is as great as I do!

It's part of my home made Christmas effort this year. How's your holiday crafting going?