Monday, December 22, 2008

White Christmas

Well, it sure is a White Christmas this year! Snow, snow and more snow! Unfortunately, our snow blower broke on Friday just as Jon was getting done with the driveway. We finally broke down and bought one this year - although a used one from a co-worker. This was the 3rd time he used it - darn, you get what you pay for I guess... He'll have to work on it, even though working on yard equipment is his least favorite thing to do!

I'm hoping we can find a window tomorrow to travel before the next storm hits. I hope everyone has a great Christmas and I can't wait to read all about everyone's good times! Til then, I'll leave you with my most recent peacock wares I made. I must model them over the next few days...

I layered Hint's Krishna Peacock with Vintaj's Fussy Peacock on a simple chain for a necklace that goes with everything! Check out the paper mache mini model I got at Michael's.
And here's the first necklace I made from one of my many peacock pendants from Wabisabipottery. I decided to put it off-center. The rest of the necklace is wood beads, silver beads, and some lovely stones a friend gave me because I showed her how to wire wrap. I'm not completely sure what they are, but they are the prettiest milky green color! I'll be making more necklaces with the other pendants that will be for sale - I have some other designs in mind.Take Care Everyone!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Probably gonna be a long post...

Sorry, I haven't been in blogging mode lately. This was a busy week. I am done with the school semester, having to take finals on Wednesday and Thursday. I don't feel the relief yet until I get my grades... We got pounded with snow yesterday, but I still had to make my way into work because I live fairly close. It was a quiet day and I had to wrap things up to be off for the next 2 weeks. That's right, I worked my vacation so that I have 2 full weeks off now!!! Four of those days we get off through the company anyway and the rest I took as vacation. My hubby has 2 weeks off too, although his place always has the week between X-mas and New Years off as a given. We will be spending about half of that time with friends and family and the other half for our own much needed R & R!

So let's see... what's new with me. I have a place in Andrew Thornton's charm club - yeah! And, I got Anne Choi's new skull bead! Merry Christmas to me!!!

I didn't put up our big tree this year. There were many reasons why I talked myself out of it: I was busy and any spare time I had I wanted to work on jewelry, we aren't physically here on any of the actual holidays, and I wasn't sure if the place where I usually put it was going to be full of my dining room furniture since I have no idea when the work is going to start on the water damage we've had. Lame, I know. So instead, I just put up one of my smaller "theme" trees with all of my peacocks on it. I put this tree up every year anyway, just in a different location. Besides ornaments, I have also found over the years peacock ribbons and wrapping paper. I have some faux wrapped gifts with those elements to save each year to put under this tree.I did put up 8 pieces of my town though. I have way too many decorations for any sane person. Years and years ago, I started collecting lighted houses and accessories from a company called Kurt Adler. The name of my holiday town is "Snowtown". I would describe it as whimsical/folk art/glittery. If you look inside the windows, you can see there are even painted scenes inside!
There is a spin off of "Snowtown" called "Gingerbread Junction" which I also have. I also have the "Angel Heights" collection and "Springtown" for Easter. Yeah... a lot. I probably do have the room to put up all the winter ones: "Snowtown", "Gingerbread Junction", and "Angel Heights" but I usually rotate different ones each year because I merely don't have the energy. This year, I took a look at eBay to see if anyone was selling any of these suckers and sure enough, they were. I don't think these collections are made anymore so some of the prices sure opened my eyes. Enough to where I decided to sell 2 of the houses that weren't my favorites and the accessories to go with them. I was happy with the sales and in turn, they allowed me to splurge on this vintage owl sweater:
I just love the saying on it - probably too offensive to wear to work, eh?

Well, since this sure jumped all over the place, I'll sign off now! Wait, one more thing: my skin is so dry it is driving me crazy!!! I usually don't get this dry until mid-January! I am not a big fan of lotion. Even if I find a non-greasy one, I don't know why I think those extra few minutes in the morning is going to throw off my schedule. I think I'll have to give in though.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Handmade Gifts

Every year, I usually always give some handmade gifts. But this year especially, it's all about stretching the pocketbook and trying to use what has already been packed into this house in 5 short years. We've been on a roller coaster for at least 2 years now with Jon's automotive related job and we'll see how much longer we can ride with the Big 3 problems coming to a head here. My Dad has had to take unpaid days off, my brother just lost his job and my future sister-in-law's plant may shut down soon too. So needless to say, we are all planning a simpler Christmas this year - which really, isn't that what's it's all about?

Firstly, what do you get an 89 year old (my Grandpa)? He has plenty of sweaters, pajamas, slippers, etc... Every year, we try to find creative ways to give him scratch off lottery tickets and rolls of quarters for the casino. So this year, I made him his own personalized Advent Calendar. I had this fabric hanger with 20 pockets on it so I had the calendar start on December 6th (St. Nick's Day for any of you Catholics out there). I painted the numbers on and filled it with the tickets, rolls of quarters, his favorite candies, word searches and gift cards to McDonald's and Walgreens and sent it off. From what I have heard, he loves it!!!
Next, while at a craft fair this summer I saw this cool idea that I knew I'd want to try - making abstract garden art with old dishes/glasses. I had some old dishes in the basement and some broken dishes and bowls. With Jon's help yesterday, we also dug up an old light fixture (which he painted), some buttons, river rock, a doorknob. You need a strong epoxy to adhere everything together. Then, you adhere a hockey puck on the back that you have drilled a hole in to accept a strong metal rod that goes in the ground so the "flower" sits at a 90 degree angle! I always go with the rule of thumb that I only give gifts that I would like enough for myself... I really like these so I hope others will too.Of course I am giving some of my mini foldout scrapbooks I posted about a while ago and certainly some jewelry... like the necklace below that reminds me of my sister-in-law.(The pendant is from Joan Miller)Stay tuned.. I hope to get some new things loaded on Etsy tonight...

Saturday, December 13, 2008


I was recently inspired by Margo Morrison to make some simple necklaces that are great for layering. Look how many are layered on here!!!Her's are hand knotted but I used delicate chain for mine. I used several of the glass strands I got at the gem show a few weeks ago, and even used wood beads for one. I have these for sale at the Art Center and of course am modeling them myself at work - they are so easy to wear!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

New Stuff

I have some new pieces listed on Etsy - pics below. My favorite is the bracelet I made with one of my lampwork owl beads from Jawjee! My biggest frustration is that it is dark when I go to work and dark when I get home so I have no good light to take pictures during the week (until I get around to making that light box). So I brought my pieces to work today to take pictures by a window at lunchtime. Great use of an intercompany mailer for a background, don't ya think?

I took several older pieces off my Etsy site to clean it up a bit AND I'm taking a bunch of stuff into the Art Center tomorrow so I thought some might need some new eyes looking at them. I volunteered at the Art Center gift shop again on Saturday and the holiday market it going great! For the month of November, we sold a little over $10,000 worth of merchandise which well exceeded our goal and expectations this year with the economy. I am so glad people are choosing local art instead of Walmart!
In other news, my book from Snapfish arrived today and it is so beautiful! Here's a peek - it's so surreal to see your own things printed in such a professional manner. It's amazing how far pictures have come! Well, I'm off to price my things for the Art Center.....