Sunday, December 04, 2011

Tis the Season

I have been a busy little elf since arriving back in Portland from a lovely Thanksgiving in Arizona. I have been making many gifts, including one for myself which I will show you today.

I got an Amazon Kindle a few weeks back, but I didn't have a cover for it so I decided to make one myself. It's not the best in terms of construction. For whatever reason, I just couldn't do the math and make sense of how to put it together, so it has some rough edges. But that's ok, it's just for me.

I had a little fun with appliques and had some cool fat quarters from a wonderful shop here in Portland called Bolt fabric on Alberta St.

I'll try to continue posting my projects as I go thru the holiday season. See you soon!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A busy and productive few weeks

It seems I start every blog post with apologies for not posting more frequently. It's such a conundrum; I want to post more, yet I get busy and the time slips by me and before I know it, a week (or three or four!) have passed. It means so much to me when people stop by to visit, yet I don't do more to keep you coming. Sigh. This is an issue that keeps coming up, and I don't have a solution as yet.

But enough about that! Let me share what's been keeping me so busy. First off, I did a holiday craft bazaar a couple of weekends ago at a local elementary school here in Portland. It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun and I'm so glad I did it! I met some wonderful folks, made some good connections and made a little money.Here are some photos of my booth. We had a fairly small area and were crammed in like sardines, but that just added to the neighborly feel among us vendors.

These are an overview of my booth. I spent the weekend before busily coming up with some display options.


I found this Eiffel tower wine rack at Marshall's that is the perfect display rack for necklaces, I was so excited!

The white object with the earrings hanging from it is a candle lantern that my friend loaned me. Perfect!

Ok, enough boring photos of the craft show! Let me show you what I made this weekend (with a little back story). On Friday, one of the local thrift store chains had a 50% off everything in the store sale. So I booked over there after work to check out the goods. I found a slightly dated brown tweedy blazer and a maroon sweatshirt. Total cost: $6.00. I spent much of yesterday deconstructing and reconstructing those two pieces into one. I embellished and this is what I ended up with:

 This is  a pin that can be removed and used on other things...
 here's where I cut the sleeves off both items and rejoined them together...

Here is a close-up of the front.

Today I went to a monthly craft show to scope out a possible vending opportunity. I wore my new jacket and got loads of interest in it, so I will be making lots of fabric flower pins at the very least. I'd love to hit one of the shows before Christmas, so we'll see...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Prep time!

Wow, what a couple of busy weeks it's been! I traveled to Phoenix last weekend and this week was a really hectic one at work.

I also am doing a holiday craft show in two weeks that I just found out about, so I have a TON to do to get ready for that. I won't be around much on my blog for the next little bit as I will be working my fingers to the bone making pretties to sell.

I'll try to put up a few eye candy photos over the next bit. Here's one I'll leave you with, a glove form I got at a local antique mall. Enjoy, and talk soon!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

kitchen re-do completed!

It's been a busy weekend. Yesterday I helped a couple of friends with their garage sale. We had a lot of fun, but it was also a lot of work. I brought my jewelry with me and sold quite a few pieces, so that was great. Also got a line on a holiday show at one of the schools that sounds great, so I'm hoping to get into that.

Today was push to complete my kitchen freshening. I'm so happy with it! It looks so much better and is so much more functional with the new shelves. I love, love, love, it! The photos don't quite do it justice as it's evening and the kitchen isn't near any windows...

 I had forgotten about these two photos that I had bought from a local artist several months back at the Saturday Market here in Portland. They are absolutely perfect for the new kitchen look and they add so much to the overall look of the space. Love them!!

I hope you enjoyed taking a peak; let me know what you think...

Monday, September 26, 2011

a fun class yesterday

I took a basic beading class yesterday and though I have been making jewelry for several years, I've never taken a basics class. It was great and I learned how to do a few things a bit better than I have been doing them, and I learned how to do a knotted strand of beads, which is something I've been wanting to do for awhile now. I made a necklace after I got home from class using my new skills and it came out really nicely. Since it was too dark to take a photo last night and tonight, I'll have to wait on the photo till later in the week. In the meantime, here's new bracelet that I just put up in my etsy shop...enjoy!

Sunday, September 25, 2011


I don't know about you, but fall brings out the nesting instincts in me. Maybe it's similar to the squirrel storing acorns for winter, but I am overcome with an urge to organize and prettify my space.

Also, I wanted to show you my little space on my blog, and when I started looking around I thought, "Oh, I need a bit of a revamp before I can show my place!"

So I've decided to show you pieces of my apartment as I get them started and done.

In that vein, I'm focusing on my large kitchen wall. I've been wanting to do something with it for quite awhile now, and I'm feeling ready to tackle it. Here's what it looks like now:
Before, I had this painting hanging next to the two you see in the first photo. Yesterday I moved her to the dining room and I like her much better in her new spot.
I would like to put up some shelving and maybe a rack for hanging coffee cups. The kitchen is very small, so some extra storage space will be great. A trip to IKEA will be in order, and then a plea to my dear friend here who has a drill and a knack for decorating. I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, I will post some more jewelry and other crafty projects I've completed...stay tuned!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A little flea-ing

Today I took some time to visit a wonderful antiques mall here in Portland that I read about in one of the home decorating magazines and came home with a couple of treasures. I'll give you a peak today, then a little more tomorrow...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

bead soup party!

Today's the day! It's time for show and tell with the beads I received from the lovely Joyce Becker. She was such a generous swapper that I was able to use her beads almost exclusively in the two pieces I made. First I'll talk about the bracelet.Here's an overview of the whole piece. The beads she gave me have a very earthy feel which I love, so I wanted to highlight their earthiness.

 Here's a closeup of the clasp. Joyce made the clasp and distressed it. She also patinaed the leaf. Aren't they beautiful?

She included this elegantly marbled blue and amber glass bead, and handstamped the word "create" on the round brass charm.

The only things I included from my stash are the brass bead caps and the gold divider beads. I LOVE my new bracelet!!

The second thing I made was a necklace. I made the pendant first using Joyce's beads (the blue oblong one and the round blue marbled one). I added a hammered silver circle, gold divider beads and brass bead caps.

For the rest of the necklace I used the dark amber beads sent by Joyce, a couple of dichroitic beads in amber tones, two more marbled beads (all sent by Joyce). 

I added brass chain to add a little interest, a lobster clasp, charm on the extender made with Joyce's beads and voila, an earthy, totally cool necklace!

Here's a link to Joyce's blog. I can't wait to see what she made with the beads I gave her!

Monday, September 12, 2011

silver and flowers

My oh my, has it been a week since I posted last? Where does the time go? I've been busy finishing up my bead soup party projects and am looking forward to posting them this weekend and seeing what other folks have been up to. Am very much looking forward to what my swap buddy has come up with!

Above are a couple of photos of a necklace that I made for myself. I love it and have been wearing it quite a bit. I used a couple of components from the Industrial Chic line from Michael's and silver beads strung into a chain. It's simple but effective I think.

I also finished another bag over the weekend, so I'll get some pics and post that soon.

Monday, September 05, 2011

my finally finished bag

I started this bag about 4 months ago and FINALLY finished it! You know how that goes; start a new project, all fired up raring to go. You get started, then some things don't go quite the way you planned, you're unsure of how to take the next step. Then another really cool project comes to mind, and the other project disappears into the UFO pile. Where it languishes.

I don't know what inspired me to pick it up again, but I did. And somehow the things I was unsure of fell into place and I love the result. I used mostly vintage fabrics and buttons, some new pompom trim, and new fabric for the lining.

Now I want to start something in fall colors; oh dear...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Sorry I've been incommunicado for the last several days. Last weekend was my birthday and my honey came to visit me. We had a great weekend together, and now I am recovering from all the birthday fun.

I've been very tired this week and not feeling at all creative. It was all I could do to drag my butt in here and sit down to write this post. Nothing's been exciting me or revving me up to create. And that's ok.

I've learned in all my years of living that this is the natural flow of things. There are times when I can barely sleep I have so many ideas in my head and I spend every moment I can making things, painting, etc. Then there are times like this. Times when I feel exhausted and dry.

I never know how long the dry spells will last, but hopefully it won't be too long. I'll hope for a return of creative juices this weekend, since it's a long one.

In the meantime, I've just finished an incredible book by River Jordan (yes, that's really her name) called "praying for strangers; an adventure of the human spirit". I got it for free from work and thought I'd give it a whirl. I'm so glad I did! I wasn't sure what to expect, if it was going to be a story with heavy religious overtones. It wasn't. It was spiritual, but not religious. And the stories she tells about connection, the universe, and our energy and power to influence the lives of others fills the heart. I highly recommend it. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Beautiful Interiors

I'm one of those weird people that loves to take a walk in the evening during the fall/winter months and see the lights on in the homes I pass. I love to look at their decorating schemes, to see how they have fashioned their interiors. I imagine what the occupants of the house are doing. Maybe making dinner, talking about their day with their spouse, petting their dog or cat, or just reading by lamplight.

And another one of the things I love is seeing blog posts with photos of the author's home, how they decorate, and what inspires them. So very soon I will do a post of photos of my little apartment and talk about what makes it home to me.

In the meantime, here's a little eye candy of a necklace I made for me. I love it! It combines the Vintage Groove line and the Industrial Chic line from Michael's. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bead soup party beads have arrived!

Let me first start off by saying what a small world it is. As you've seen, I'm doing the bead soup party through Lori Anderson's blog. The gal that I've been partnered with is currently living in Peoria, AZ and is here in Portland this week visiting her sister. Out of 360ish people and random match-ups, what are the odds that I would be paired with someone from AZ (where I lived for 10 years) who is here in Portland now. It's amazing!
We got together this week to have a treat at Peet's coffee house on Broadway and exchange beads. Here we are smiling for the camera...
And here are our delicious treats. I got a trail mix bar and caramel frappachino thing and they were delish!

Here are pics of all the luscious beads she put together for me:
 Here is an overview of the beads, and not one, but two toggles!...
Here are the blue beads, in ceramics, stone and glass. Tribal and earthy...
Look at that handmade toggle Joyce made; exquisite!
Joyce treated both of these charms, and stamped the word "create" on the copper disc...
 Here's the second toggle. I got not one but two!  How cool is that?
And here is the focal bead in glass; aren't the mix of colors lovely?

I'm looking forward to getting started!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

photos and more photos!

Today was all about taking bunches of photos for my etsy shop, and trying to organize my stock a bit. It's a big job and I made a dent, but still have much more to go. I really wish I had one more day at home before having to go back to my 9-5 job tomorrow, but I am extremely grateful that I HAVE a job to go to. So many people, especially in Oregon, don't have the good fortune that I do.

It is amazing, though, how quickly the weekends pass. It seems it was Friday night about 10 minutes ago! I always have so much more I would've liked to accomplish before the commitments of the week begin.

Today I signed up for a basic bead stringing class with a friend of mine who is just getting into making jewelry. Even though I've been making jewelry for several years now, I never really learned technique, so figure I can pick up a few pointers to make my pieces more polished. I'm also hoping to take a metal clay class and resin class as well.

I'll leave you with a photo of one of my necklaces that was part of the big photo shoot, plus a very blurry picture of my kitty "helping". She thought head butting the camera and pawing at the necklace I was trying to photograph would be great fun. I love kitties! :)

I hope you all had an excellent weekend and I'll be talking with you soon!