Wednesday, December 11, 2013


This post will - hopefully - be helpful in saving you money for the holidays.

I truly enjoy making gifts for others...but wrapping them??  Not so much.  Simple is better.  But, it's a shame to pour your heart and soul into a gift and then throw it into a brown paper bag.  It's kinda anti-climactic!

So, here's a way to pretty up the wrappings without spending wads of time or money on it.  And they look really nice!

*  Start saving all the boxes you would normally toss in the trash can - cereal, tissue, pasta, cracker boxes.  You get the idea!

*  Tuck in the top flaps of cardboard.

*  Wrap it in pretty paper of your choice, just like you'd wrap a box.  But, don't wrap the open top - simply push the wrapping paper ends down into the box.  If you feel like they need taping down, stick a little tape on the inside edges.

*  Next, use a paper hole punch or an awl to make holes around the top of the box - two each on two opposite sides of the box.

*  Find some pretty ribbon (Wide ribbons work great!), thread it through the holes and make two handles.  You'll see from these 2
pictures that I tried it with the knots to the inside of the boxes AND to the outside.  You choose which way you like it best.

*Tada!  Instant pretty wrappings for your love-filled gifts!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


What do you get when you take cold, hard metal, you then add a swash of crocheting, upon which you add a bunch of bold, funky buttons, some of them stacked?

Texture, texture, TEXTURE!  This piece was a blast to work on!  And it's for sale now in my etsy shop at

Sunday, November 10, 2013


I'm sitting here enjoying our old cookstove's comforting heat this fine crisp Sunday afternoon. Yes, we finally have heat in our home, but you know what?  It's a crying shame to use it when a cookstove's heat is so much more inviting.

It does take firewood to keep it going, though.  So, a bunch of folks from our church came over yesterday and we had a good ol' fashioned wood-splitting bee!  They split, oh, probably 5 cords of wood for us!  And it's all trees that naturally came down through the year and would have just rotted out there if we hadn't "rescued" it for our heating purposes.  And there's still plenty more out there for nature to use as critter homes.

The change in weather has got me making "warm" jewelry these days.  In the summertime, I can't even think about wearing a bracelet cuff or bulky necklace.  It's too much contact with my already-overheated skin.  But of late I've been enjoying making crocheted flower pins. And the latest batch has a special touch - a layer of ruching added to the flower brooch!  So much fun to make!

I've also finished a 50-inch loop necklace/bracelet.  It can be one long loop of a necklace, a two-looped one, or a lots-of-loops bracelet cuff.  I really like the cuff look.

Has the change in weather brought on a new serge of inspiration your way?  Share your thoughts!

Friday, November 1, 2013


It's right around the corner!

You can feel it in the air!



Have you organized your list of Christmas gifts you want to make or give??  I don't have it on paper, but it's mulling around in my head (Oooo, hot mulled cider sounds good right now....).  The ideas are actually coming so fast and furiously that I'm not sure I'll be able to get them all made before the 25th of December! Focus!  Focus!  Focus!

These earrings are definitely on the list, though.  I've got seven different designs made but will show them to you little by little.  I'll also be posting the how-to's of making them.    But, if you'd rather just buy them outright, please feel free to visit my etsy shop.

Nature is - once again - my inspiration!  The trees that surround me daily are...AWESOME.  I just had to make earrings in tribute to them and their Maker.  And those same trees remind me of the twinkly Christmas tree!

Have fun with these.  I did!

Silver Star Earrings
The "trees" in these earrings are etched on both sides, so whether you're coming or going, you're beautiful!

I was having a time coming up with something I could use as a tree trunk that I already had in my gargantuan stockpile of jewelry-making supplies.  Then it hit me - bead caps!  It works!

And I definitely wanted to have "stars" in the sky above the trees. When I found these star beads, I knew I had to have them!

This pair of earrings is 2 5/8 inches long (67mm) from top to bottom.

So, look through your stash and see what you've got that will work.  You'll see from my seven designs that the sky is the limit, so to speak.  Be creative!

Here's the supplies you'll need:

2 triangle beads (Mine are 7/8 x 7/8 x 3/4 inch, or 22 x 22 x 19mm.  You can go bigger or smaller, according to what you've got in your stash.)
2 bead caps ( 1/3 x 1/4 inch or to scale)
2 head pins (1 3/4 inches long or longer)
2 glass "pearl" beads (I needed something to cover the huge hole at the top of my trees.  You may not need these.)
6+ "star" beads of your choice (1/4 inch or to scale)
6+ head pins to use with the stars (1 inch long)
dainty chain (3 inches total.  We'll be snipping it into smaller pieces.)
2 small jumprings (in scale with your chain - we want these to "blend in" with the chain.)
2 1/4 inch diameter jumprings
2 earwires
One finished "tree"

1.  The Tree - On one headpin stack one bead cap, one triangle, and one glass pearl.  Make a wrapped loop to secure all of the beads on that headpin.  Repeat all of #1.  You now have the two "bodies" of the earrings complete.

6 stars with simple loops & extra headpin pieces to use elsewhere

2.  The Stars - Put each one of the 6 stars onto headpins.  Secure each of them with a simple loop above each star.

My chain pieces for two earrings.

3.  Cutting the chain - My chain has very tiny links.  I cut mine this way:
          *  2 lengths have 5 links  (These will be used to dangle the TREE.)
          *  2 lengths have 3 links  (These will be used for 2 stars.)
          *  2 lengths have 2 links  (These will be used for 2 more stars.)
(If you're doing the math, you realize we still have two more stars to dangle.  These last two will not have any chain on them.)

The dangling trees.
4.  The Dangling Tree - Open one of the small jumprings, remembering to always open jumprings "front to back", not "side to side".  (Opening jumprings side to side will weaken the metal, where opening them front to back actually strengthens the metal.)
      Hang one of the trees and one length of 5-link chain onto this jumpring.  Close the jumpring, going front to back 5 to 10 times, rubbing the two edges together and lining up the two edges on the last pass. (You have helped "align" the metal molecules by rubbing the ends back and forth, strengthening the metal even more.)
      Repeat with the other small jumpring.  Set the two dangling trees aside.
The stars on chains.

5.  The Dangling Stars - Dangle two of the stars from the 3-link lengths of chain, doing it like you did in Step #4.
      Dangle two more stars from the 2-link lengths of chain.
      Leave the last two stars just as they are - no chain for them.

The finished creation!

6.  Putting it All Together - Open one of the large jumprings.  Slip these pieces onto the jumpring in this order:
      Star on 2-link chain
       Star on 3-link chain
       Star with no chain
Close the jumpring, making sure to rub its ends together.  Repeat for the other earring, putting the pieces of the earring on the jumpring in the opposite order.

7.  Show off your new creation!

Saturday, October 26, 2013


What a day it's been!

With the sun bathing us, Rover and I made our way to the garden.  I can't believe I'm still gardening this late into October!  We - and I do mean "we" - picked the broccoli clean and pulled it all up.  I was reminded today that my dog loves vegetables!  He particularly loves, you guessed it, broccoli stalks.  Cabbage leaves aren't too bad, either!

After catching my breath, it was on to applesauce.  I have a grand total of 30 quarts of scrumptiousness that reminds me of my grandmother's.  She made THE best applesauce I've ever had!

I even squeezed in some time to "play".  I got a bunch of Christmas earrings made and am hoping to get pictures of them taken very soon!

That's it in a nutshell!  I hope you all have a restful Sunday!

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Hey all you crafty, creative people!  Where do you get your inspiration from?  What makes your creative juices flow?
One of my latest pretties!

I’ve got a variety of “ craft accelerants” that work for me.  Nature is a big one.  And this time of year is full of inspiration!  The leaves in all their colors, the smell of the crisp air, “leaf showers” (as one of my friends calls it),  a bunch of cornstalks with pumpkins out by a neighbor’s mailbox.  These are the things that pretty jewelry ideas are made of.
It's a pin and a barrette.

Texture is another thing that will set my mind in motion.  So many textures, so little time to make all of the ideas!  Take fabrics of all kinds, yarns both smooth and bumpy, sparkly beads, buttons, wood, throw in some of those fall leaves we mentioned earlier, and you’ve got the perfect accessory!

And, thus, the autumn escapades begin!  
Capitalizing on the beautiful fall colors.

Don’t forget to tell us how you’re inspired.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Writing in the Sand

Welcome!  Sit down with a cup of something yummy and let me introduce myself.

Ever since I was a little girl I’ve loved to “create”.  I remember one Thanksgiving when I was around 7 years old, while waiting for my grandparents to show up, that I wrote poems.  Well, I thought they were poems!  They’re actually pretty funny.

During this same time, I would open my mom’s jewelry box and gawk at all the “pretties” in there.  We weren’t rich, they weren’t diamonds, just costume jewelry.  But I was awed.

And then there was a history project in grade school that I had to do.  We were supposed to make shadow boxes representing the colonial times.  I had a BLAST, with Mom right beside me, egging me on to be yet more creative!

Speaking of Mom, she would take me to her crafty meetings as a tweenager.  Here I was, 10 years old, among a bunch of sweet old ladies that had to be – gosh – 110 years old!  (Just kidding, Mom!)  There’s a verse in the Bible that talks about what I experienced there…“The aged women likewise…That they may teach the young women”.  (Titus 2:3-4)  I’ve kind of stretched those verses a bit to fit my situation, but you get the idea I’m shooting toward.  Those older women treated me like I was one of them and taught me so much.  It was confirmed - I liked this “crafting” thing!

So, decades later when I caught the “jewelry-making bug”, no one was surprised!

I think I’ll go make a pair of earrings…