Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Jewelry Site up and running!

Finally, I got some of my jewelry up on the new jewelry site at etsy. Now I need to fill up the categories. Pendants is looking good, but needs variety. The rest is lame! Get to work! NOW! Well, ok, after prepping the dining room walls for paint, feeding the dogs, checking emails, blah, blah, blah. Think I better put a little time into a time management plan.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Artist's Eye Candy!

I am a visual artist. I use color in all of my art, no matter what I am doing at the moment. Artists are funny about their tools. If they are good tools, they are probably quite expensive, so we take care of them. If they are "tools" that get used up (like paint and colored pencils) we sometimes hoard them. I remember going to a colored pencil workshop when I was getting my graphic design degree with two friends. It was a bit of a car ride and our conversation revolved around our hesitancy to use up our new very expensive colored pencils. All of a sudden we all stopped, looked at each other and burst out laughing. Could there be anything more ridiculous? Well, I still love my colored pencils and some of them are still from that set (the colors I tend to ignore, that is), As I was organizing my studio the other day, I found my colored pencils which had been relegated to a box. The last time I used them I found myself digging through to find just the right color. Now, I've decided that they deserve better and so do I! So, I sorted them by color, found just the right containers and voila......Eye Candy! I see them every time I sit down to work and even though I am designing and making jewelry, they are there for me to enjoy. Yummy!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Another Challenge and that's good!

I love challenges that are either created by others or that come about as a result of my own making. I am resurrecting my PMC (Precious Metal Clay) skills and looking forward to sharpening some old ones and learning some new ones. One of the best ways for me to push myself into learning new things is to participate in a challenge or contest. There is a wonderful company called Metal Clay Findings who is sponsoring their first contest. You can probably guess what they make. Each contestant purchases a bag of 21 findings and must use at least 3 in a piece of jewelry which must be over half PMC. Learn more about PMC at or at I received my contest package today. What will I do with this collection? I know that this peridot I have been treasuring for awhile will definitely be in it. It is my birthstone. I can't wait!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Taste Temptations!

Here is a little taste of what's up on my etsy site. Enjoy!

Where Have I Been???

I have been setting up a website and a selling site for my handmade jewelry and clay sculptures. (Yes, and still stripping wallpaper!) See my work at This week I will be splitting that site into two to include (not active yet). I read from the success stories on etsy that that is the thing to do. Will give it a try. I will be adding several new lines of jewelry, so keep an eye on the site. will have a link to the jewelry site, so you'll always be able to find me. PS Please feel free to share this info with all of your jewelry loving friends and family (unless you are buying them a Christmas gift from the site and want to keep it a secret until after THE day).

Friday, September 25, 2009

1940's Beauty!

For my birthday this year, my grandsons gave me a digital scrapbooking course by Jessica Sprague. That was August; this is September, almost October. I am finally getting a chance to try it out. Hence, my first effort. I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Excited about Neutral

I have discovered the wonder of neutrals. I was raised in a household of neutral, singular. Everything was beige, medium beige. That is redundant. My mom said, "Beige goes with everything". The truth is beige goes with nothing on its own. Today we have so many shades and tones of browns that it is really a rainbow of neutrals. The tricky part is varying the values (lights and darks) for dramatic impact. The same idea applies to any color(s).

When I married, we lived in military housing, or in homes we knew would be sold soon, so again, everything was either beige or white. So, when we bought this house 17 years ago, I wallpapered, painted red, went crazy. Now, as we are thinking of selling in the not too distant future, I am revisiting the neutrals with punches of color. Very fun! I still get my red. YAY!

This photo shows the next step in neutralizing - the bright teal loveseat with cocoa brown slip cover. No worries, the wingback will get an oatmeal slip cover and the wall will be Latte! Yummy!

Red, Red, Red

It is true that Spring has passed when red was all around and, for me, the new sign of Spring. Red has stayed lodged in the favorite color spot of my brain, however. My newly decorated and updated kitchen will be totally neutral, so it needs a splash of color here and there to make it exciting and fun! Hence, the collection of red accessories you see here. I really did not want all of the typical appliances turned colors nor did I want the country red apple collection. But, I could not resist the Paula Dean food scale. It is dynamite. Cute, sort of antique looking, but anything but traditional for a food scale. I am finding that combining traditional with contemporary is a challenge, but one I am enjoying. Now that is Delicious Design!

Monday, September 7, 2009

How Many Layers to Builder idiocy?

We are doing lots of work on our house. When we moved in 16 years ago, we wallpapered over wallpaper. Obviously we were not the first. Now that we want to paint and the wallpaper is too textured to paint over, stripping is necessary. Four layers later and we find that the brilliant builder put the first layer right on top of the wallboard, not even skimming it first. Now we have to patch, repair, and skim before we can paint. But the results will be fantastic. This is the room that will get the glass tile border and backsplash. Can't wait!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

First signs of Autumn

As we ventured out to do the weekly grocery shopping, I noticed a distinct change in the air - cooler, breezy, overcast. Then upon returning I found this jewel in the driveway, untouched. We have huge oaks in the yard and always have zillions of acorns fall (at least it seems like it). Usually they get crushed under the car tires, but the new driveway can't be driven on yet, so this cluster remained untouched. Green and tender, it marks the first signs of Autumn in our southern corner of the world. I can't wait for more. Happy Autumn!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Funky Chicken Peacock!

Now, you might wonder why I would call a peacock "Funky Chicken". I am so glad you asked! You see, there is this wonderful art gallery back in the woods just a couple of miles from our favorite waterfall in the mountains of North Georgia, Amicalola Falls. Of course, the gallery is called the Funky Chicken Gallery. Not only do they have fabulous art, but also a yard full of animals, from chickens to peacocks to horses. This particular fellow has shed his fantastic tail feathers for the year, but still stuts around to impress the 3 females with their drab brown coloring and no tail feathers, poor things.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Creative Household Chores

We are working on improving and redecorating our house for the purpose of updating to live and eventually to sell. One such improvement is to install a backsplash in the kitchen. Love the colors and textures!

The next project is to actually reupholster the antique Morris chair for which fabric was recently purchased. Done!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Birthday Fun!

You will probably never believe this, but numbers are one of my favorite things. And, since today is my birthday, I am having fun with numbers for the project 365 challenge by seeing how many creative photos I can do from my desk chair. This is the 4th in the series for the project 365 challenge. The favorite part of my keyboard is (you guessed it) the number pad. So, here it is.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Morris Chair gets a new lease on life

The old Morris chair inherited from my great-grandparents is getting a facelift. It has been through many changes of face over its lifetime, but now it is time to refresh once again. But, this time we are going back to the past and using a beautiful Morris patterned fabric. It is beautiful and had to be my project 365 photo for the day. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Thing of Beauty!

Now you might not see the beauty in this concrete, but if you have lived with an uprooted driveway for 16 years, then you might. Besides which, the shadows alone make this a nice piece. Our new driveway is truly a thing of beauty and a joy forever!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Summer Madness

Wow, I hadn't realized how long it's been since I've added a post. What a summer! May 16th, daughter Heather graduated from law school. Somehow I injured my left knee severely during the trip.

Daughter Aimee and two boys, Nicolas and Kalen moved in while hubby Jason job hunted in Seattle.

Then in June my hubby Bill had Cardiac Ablation surgery. All is well on that front. Thanks Universe! A trip to Orlando with Bill in July, then knee surgery after. The recovery has been a challenge.

Heather made the trip to LA to take the California Bar, 3 grueling days of it. No word until November (sigh)

Jason got a job! YAY for them. Aimee and the boys left for Seattle and are now in their new home and reunited with Jason.

It is time for us to start working on our house in earnest to put on the market in the Spring. Furniture moving, painting, new driveway tomorrow, staging.

So, it is also time for me to do something fun for me. Friday is my birthday and I decided to steal an idea from Aimee to make each day a creative one. I started the project 365 today - a creative photo each day for 365 days. Love it! Here is the first.

Now you might not think this is terribly creative, but just look at the label on the webcam, it says it all!

Monday, May 11, 2009

All Kids Bench

This is my current contribution to Bench Monday. I love furniture that is so versatile that it transcends generations. This bench was for my grandchildren so they could reach the sink in the bathroom to wash up. Then, it was so they could reach the kitchen counter to help cook. Now it is mine again. As I get older and shrink in height I need it even more for those top cupboards. What a great piece of furniture, this little bench

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mother's Day Mustard!

My Mother's Day gift to anyone who wants it is this fabulous recipe. Sometime in the late 1980's while we were living in Fountain Valley, California, I ran across a great recipe for country mustard. It was one of the few times I succumbed to the lure of a "woman's magazine", and it turned out to be a rare treat. This recipe came from either Good Housekeeping or Better Homes and Gardens. I would love to give credit where credit is due, but the name of the magazine is missing from the clipped recipe. So, I will give you the recipe with the request that you make it only for your own use or gifts. It does make the most fabulous holiday gifts for friends or family members after they try it with your fabulous dinner and want to take some home with them. It is incredibly simple to make. I would recommend buying the mustard powder and seed in bulk if you are making lots of it as I do, as it can be very expensive otherwise. Go online if there is not somewhere to buy it close to you. I multiply the recipe times 9 which makes 20-8 ounce jars.
Country Mustard
Servings: Makes about 2 cups (recipe as shown here) Prep time: About 5 minutes Cooking time: About 3 minutes Standing time: About 10 minutes Chilling time: About 8 hours or overnight.
1/3 cup whole mustard seed
1/3 cup boiling water
1/3 cup dry mustard
1/3 cup warm water
1 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspooms salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
In a small bowl, combine mustard seeds and boiling water. In another small bowl, mix dry mustard with warm water; set both mustards aside for 10 minutes. In small saucepan, combine vinegar and remaining ingredients; stir in reserved mustard mixtures. Over medium-high heat, bring mustard to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook about 2 minutes until thickened, stirring constantly. Pour into small bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. With wire whisk, beat until smooth. Spoon into container with tight-fitting lid. Store in refrigerator.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Simple Things in Life!

My grandchildren are living with us temporarily during their family's relocation to the west coast. What a gift to see the world through their eyes. We forget how simple pleasures can fill our days should we let them.

Nicholas (age 9) and Kalen (age 5+) have been exploring our backyard which we have allowed to be wild. We call it doggie disneyland. There is dirt to dig in, fallen trees and logs to climb on and whack at, leaves to move from one place to another in the dumptruck and the greatest thing of all - rocks to dig up! They have spent whole afternoons digging up rocks, scrubbing them clean and sorting them for their "mineral" collection. Total cost: $5. for two pair of kid sized work gloves. Now that is what I call bargain entertainment.

They have also built a fence from found wood, bricks, etc. across an area of the yard to keep the dogs from gaining access to the gate where they delight in barking at anything and everything that passes by. The boys forgot that the dogs have other access, but it did not deter them. Interestingly, the dogs, who are each 55 lb border collie mixes could easily step over the barricade if they wanted, but respect the "fence" and do not. It must be that secret understanding between little boys and dogs.

The best thing about all of these projects is that none of them have been thought of by an adult. The boys are left on their own. As long as we can see them, there are no blood curdling screams or fist fights, they are on their own to design, engineer, create, imagine, bottom line - PLAY!

When was the last time you took an entire afternoon to PLAY? Try it. Aimee and I took an entire day last week to go to a yarn expo and PLAY. It was indeed revitalizing.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Speaking of Spring and Red...

Some of you know and some do not that we are located in Dunwoody, Geogia. And, that we are planning to move to the west coast within the next year. What that means is that we need to sell our house. And that means STAGING it. Having had a Staging business and been a trainer in the field qualifies me to stage and do it beautifully. I have staged two houses for my daughter Aimee and husband Jason. They have sold in good time for the market and with rave reviews about how the houses looked. Enough bragging! It is time to do my own house now. This is equivalent to a surgeon operating on herself I have been told. Well, we will make a stab at it and then call in my dear friend Jeanne, Stager extraordinaire, and her friend, Aimee's realtor and now good friend, Cheryl for their input.

What does all of this have to do with Spring and Red? OK, when we bought this house some 16 years ago the house was still decorated with the original 1970 colors, avacado green, gold, and orange! Also, we had been in the Navy for 30 years, living in quarters or houses that we would have to turn around quickly, so all of the colors were beige-beigy beigy, beigy pinky, beigy icky, you get the idea. It was time for my wildness and love of color to explode all over the walls of this new to us house we planned to live in forever more. (Best laid plans) Hence, RED!

The powder room was the only room small enough to handle this RED tulip wallpaper I fell in love with. It reminds me of Spring everytime I look at it (I still love it!) However, both the color red and wallpaper have become outdated, especially for staging and selling a house. So, I must remove it and oh yes, the other layer of pastel daisy wallpaper under it and somehow create a smooth wall for paint. Easier said than done. The tulip paper came off easily. Now I am left with a layer of paste on top of the old paper which is imbedded in the wallboard because the builder did not prep the wall for paper. AHHHH!

Step 1: Remove tulip paper CHECK

Step 2: Remove paste and really ugly daisy paper Time to google solutions! Any ideas wouldbe greatly appreciated.

More later.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Signs of Spring

Every year for as many as I can remember, the first sign of Spring blooming has been the daffodils and forsythia. The color of Spring has always been bright, sunshiny yellow. I’ve seen forsythia blooming around the neighborhood, but not in our yard this year as we decided to take down the out of control bush in the Fall. And, with our crazy weather, all the daffodils have succumb to frost.

This year is different. Outside the window by my desk are two camellia bushes. They are finally blooming in all their glory and the color is the most gorgeous shade of crimson red. And then, today when I arrived home I noticed the twig wreath with red berries that I put on the front door after the holidays. It was on sale and since it didn’t scream “Christmas”, I figured it could brighten the otherwise drab winter days yet to come. Once there, it was forgotten. As I approached the house I noticed a long raffia like streamer hanging from the wreath. As I walked up to the door, I was amazed by the most perfect wren’s nest I’ve ever seen, tucked in amongst the pine cones and twigs and berries of the wreath; the opening to the nest, a perfect circle. It is a delightful reminder that Spring is indeed here.

Now our front door is not to be opened until the wrens are finished with the nest and the babies have flown to bigger and better places. I am thankful for garage access to the house!

I love that the new color of Spring is Red!