Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I found a book of Vintage Christmas cards. These girls called out saying they wanted to be on the side of a handbag! I had heard of printable fabric, but had never tried it. It works great! It is actual fabric that works in an inkjet printer. Amazing! I had also never appliqued, but decided to try that too. Used fusible web and satin stitch with metallic thread. This project was a stretch for me with so many new techniques! But the sales lady at Patches (Mt Airy) was so helpful. I think her advice saved me from disaster in many instances. I still need to go and show her the finished product.

Look at the fabric that I used for the lining. It is absolutely gorgeous. What a sweet surprise when you open the bag! I made a label for inside the bag too. Just having fun!

Now I am really festive, every time I leave the house with my handbag. Such a wonderful time of year....remembering how much God loves us! So much that He left heaven to come as a baby to a poor couple. All so that He could show His infinite love by dying on the cross for us. What an absolutely amazing thought! Thank you, Jesus!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Speculaas Cookies

Lovely, lovely cookies! Thanksgiving weekend we went to a craft show and a man was selling these cookie molds. They came with a recipe for Springerle cookies, which I had never heard of. But I was fascinated and just had to try it.

Well, the recipe calls for oil of anise, which I can't find anywhere. So I ordered it online at a really cool site that has these molds. But in the meantime, I found another recipe that uses these molds and it's called Speculaas. I modified the recipe slightly. Used nutmeg instead of mace and orange peel instead of lemon.

Speculaas originated in Holland, which is where my ancestors are from. So, making these really seemed special. And then I read more about them online and found out that they are traditionally eaten during the Feast of Saint Nicholas, which, get this, is on December 6th! I actually made the cookies on the right day! That just made the whole experience even more fun. And we all really like the flavor too!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

One-of-a-kind Pendant

So many stones so little time...... I have a weakness for pretty stones. It is so much fun to take a slab of stone and cut and polish until a gem appears. I'm never sure how a stone will turn out because as I cut it, the stone changes. In the picture below I am using my lapidary machine. As you can see, I hold the stone by hand onto the rotating laps. The laps start out very coarse and I continually change them to finer grits until there is a shiny polish.

I do enjoy having my hand in each part of the jewelry making process. I wasn't content to buy pendants and then incorporate them into necklaces. No... I had to learn lapidary and wirewrapping. Each process is quite time consuming, but there is such satisfaction in holding a completed necklace and knowing that I worked at each step!

The stone pictured above is Sage Amethyst. It has a bluish cast to it. It reminds me of a snowy winter day. It would look lovely with so many outfits. Very versatile. The pendant and heavy sterling chain is $109.00.

When you look at my jewelry, you can be sure that I have enjoyed each process and have done it to the best of my ability. It's a joy to share my creations with you!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mom and Me

My wonderful mom just recently found this picture. Don't I look happy? I guess I've loved jewelry all my life! I'm laughing and my little hand is a blur as I reach for Mom's lovely necklace. I must say that I have come to my love of jewelry honestly. My mom has always been a classy dresser and she wears just the right jewelry for each outfit.

Now she wears jewelry that I have made for her. (I just hadn't made any yet in the first picture or I'm sure she would have been wearing it!) The second picture was taken at my son's wedding. Mom is lovingly wearing the jewelry that I made for her for the event. She has always been such an inspiration to me. She is my biggest fan and loves the jewelry I make.

But, she inspires me in so many ways. She loves Jesus with her whole heart and lives each moment for Him. She loves her family and makes sure that we know it. And on top of all that, she keeps herself healthy and beautiful! What more could I ask for in a mom? Nothing...she's the best!

Thanks, Mom, for being you. And thanks for letting me play with your necklace!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Felting Fun

I've just discovered felting! I've seen felted purses and just didn't get it. So I read about it and found it fascinating. So, I had to try it.

This called for a simple project since I am not an accomplished knitter. I found a great book (photo below) in the library that explained the process well and had several simple projects. So, off to Wal-Mart I went for yarn. For felting to work, wool yarn must be used. Well, Wal-Mart was almost completely sold out of wool yarn! This was almost my only choice. Thankfully I like it!

So, I began knitting. I experienced several droppped stitches and had to start over twice. And then, the flap didn't turn out right. I'm still not sure what the directions meant there. But I'm thinking of that mistake as an interesting design element. : )

Felting happens when you wash the knit item in hot water and allow it to agitate. The fibers begin to tangle together. Then you rinse it in ice cold water and the fibers shrink and become very dense. The result is a thicker fuzzy fabric that is intriguing.

Matt usually finds my endeavors interesting. His reaction to my excitement over the felting process was, "Huh." Oh, well, I think it's cool. Have any of you done felting?

Friday, October 17, 2008

More Rings

I've been working on more rings. Still learning the technique. I'm almost ready to make some to sell. They seem to hold up really well and I think they are beautiful!

The blue ring's main stone is Dumortierite like the stones in the bracelet that I featured earlier. The ring is also Swarovski pearls and crystals. And of course Sterling Silver.

The aqua ring is all Swarovski crystals and Sterling Silver. Boy, does it sparkle. And I really like the composition.

Labradorite is the stone in the next ring. Do you see the flash of color, the iridescensce? It's one of my favorite stones. The stone seems to glow. Love it!

Smokey Quartz is the main stone in the last ring. I added a touch of Tigers Eye and Swarovski Pearls and Crystals.

I am so enjoying these rings. They are difficult to photograph. But I found those lovely roses hold them up pretty well!

So, which ring do you like best?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Surprise Flowers

Yesterday the UPS man brought my package. Only it wasn't the package of jewelry making supplies that I expected. Instead it was a box from ProFlowers. It wasn't my birthday or any special day. I had no clue who it could have been from. In fact, my first thought was that it was delivered to the wrong house.

But no, my name was actually on the box! So I opened the package to find 24 beautiful roses. Oh they are lovely!

What was even better was the note. It was from my son, Jonathan. He just wanted to say that he loves me and looks forward to seeing me soon! Isn't that wonderful?!

Oh, the Lord has blessed me in so many ways. And one of them is my son. Thank you, Jonathan, and thank you Lord, for blessing me this way!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Colored Leaves

I love this pattern! And I fell in love with this fabric when I found it. It is a Robert Kaufman fabric. Glorious colored leaves with surprises of blue! And then the brown has gazelles and leopards. How fun is that? And this purse just begged for a lot of bling.

This pattern includes so many nice features. It has a zippered top that opens nice and wide. It also has an inside zippered pocket and a pocket designed for a cell phone. I added two more pockets and a hook for my keys. It's just right for me and I love using it this fall! The pattern is designed by Monica Poole and is her "Sophia" pattern.

Matt took some pictures of me with my fabulous handbag. My friends' sweet baby was with us at the time. She just couldn't resist crawling up to me and touching the bag. We kept putting her close to Matt and he would begin to take the picture again and she'd scoot back up the hill. She's in most of the pictures. Oh, how cute she is. Totally loveable.

I suppose it just won't work for me to carry this during the winter. Oh no... guess I'll have to use some of the gorgeous Christmas fabric out there! LOL.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Blue Jean Bracelet

Aren't these gorgeous stones? I love the blue color...it would look great with jeans, but is so lovely that it can be dressy too. The ovals are Dumortierite. This stone was named for Eugene Dumortier (1803-1873) who was a French paleontologist. It was first found in the mountains of France. Now it is mined in several parts of the world, even Nevada.

I have paired the dumortierite with lustrous blue pearls. The sterling silver beads and toggle complete the bracelet.

Yet another creation that I would love to keep. I make each piece of jewelry to be the quality that I would want and I think, in so doing, I become attached. But, I must admit, I so enjoy seeing others wearing my labors of love!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mt Airy Festival

What a beautiful day we had on Saturday for displaying at the Mt Airy Festival! Here are photos of our display. My wonderful husband and I had the joy of working together all day. It was great to meet the lovely people of Mt Airy. And we made some sales! Lots of brochures were handed out. All in all it was a successful day.

Special thanks to the great people at Patches Quilting and Sewing shop for allowing us to set up on their front lawn! These are really sweet people and it's a fantastic shop. If you haven't been there before, you should stop by.

If all outdoor festivals had weather this nice, I think we would do a lot of them! But, we still enjoy the home showings the most. If you would like to have a private showing in your home, just let me know!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cheetah Handbag

Someone told me that once you make one handbag, you become addicted and you can't stop. I'm beginning to believe it!

I decided to try making a bag out of microsuede. It feels so soft and looks like leather. It's a little harder to sew, but it wasn't too bad. The animal print has a subtle metallic gold running through it. And the black part is shiny. I like the way it turned out.

Except the bag is a little too small for all the stuff that I carry. This seems to be a problem of mine. I guess I need to try carrying less stuff. But its like throwing things away. Every time I get into a cleaning fit and toss things, I want them later! So, I try to carry less in my bag, but....

Matt said this bag looks like something I could have bought in a store. I think he meant it as a compliment, but I want the bags I make to be more special than something I could buy at Target. Maybe if I add rhinestones or something.

Well, I'm already cutting out another purse. Help...I'm addicted!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Luscious Gold and Crystals

Oh, do these crystals sparkle! And the gold is so gleaming. This pendant is smaller than the silver and onyx one that I made. It's about the size of a quarter. Just perfect to put on an 18" chain.

And these earrings are just the thing for wearing with that pretty black dress.

The 14K gold-filled wire was a joy to work with. It seemed to flow through my fingers! Love it!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Hide and Seek

My wonderful hubby loves to play "Hide and Seek." But not the usual child's game. Geocaching is the high tech version. As Matt loves to say, "Geocaching is using multi-million dollar technology to find Tupperware containers in the woods." It's amazing really. People have hidden containers all over the world for others to find with their GPS. It's fun!

But I must admit that what I really like about it is spending time with Matt and hiking through the woods. It's how we spent hours on Labor Day. Strolling through the woods with family and friends and appreciating God's beautiful creation, what more could I want?
Philip had fun too and Emily enjoyed having a ride on his big shoulders!

For more information about geocaching you can go to http://www.geocaching.com/
Do any of you go geocaching too?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Wedding Bliss

Oh, how glorious was Jonathan and Johanna's wedding! Such a handsome groom and lovely bride. It was a joy to watch these special people pledge their love and commitment to God and to each other. How sweet to see two people who have waited for just the right one follow God's plan. Thank you, Jesus!

And the beautiful bride gave me the pleasure of making her jewelry for the special day. Thank you, Johanna. It was such a blessing to me to see you wear it.

I made a special pendant that is two hearts joined together. At first it was at the front of the necklace. But after trying it on, Johanna and her mom thought it might look good in the back. So, I reworked the necklace to include a pearl drop in the front and made the pendant to be a removable pendant in the back. What a wonderful idea! I am thrilled with the result. As Johanna stood at the front of the church, it looked fabulous through her veil. Then, later when she removed the veil, there was the pendant!

So many women wear their hair up for their weddings. I must say that I think Johanna and Ramona had a wonderful idea. I may have to start a bridal line of jewelry!

I can't believe that the wedding is over. It seemed to happen so fast. But, the journey of their marriage has just begun. I pray that God will richly bless them with love, joy, and peace. I pray that they will be used in a mighty way to spread the love of Jesus.

The journey begins!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Learning A Lesson

Isn't she a beauty?! Misty has been a wonderful companion for the last 10 years. What a blessing she has been to our family. But I certainly hope she has learned a lesson this week! Thursday night she had an encounter with a skunk! Oh how awful! She came back into the house and we immediately scooted her into the garage. Matt began brushing her and spraying her with Febreeze. I looked online for advice as to what to do. Washing with a mixture of peroxide, baking soda and liquid soap was what several people recommended. So, Misty had to put up with the indignity of being scrubbed with the solution. She looked so ashamed! Thankfully it was warm outside and she spent the night in the garage. Wouldn't you know, we were scheduled to leave the next day for the weekend. So our sweet neighbor had to put up with her. (She should get an award.)
Well, we are home again. The smell still lingers on Misty and our home has an odor. But it is not as bad as I feared. I dreaded it all weekend! My only hope is that she has learned a lesson, oh and I also hope that the odor leaves! Please, no more skunks!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I decided to give making wire rings a try. It's been really fun! I've worn them for awhile and most are working out well. One of my rings, not pictured here, has problems. The crystals are breaking off.

I'm learning! I guess it's not a good idea to use square wire in the crystals. As the wire moves its broke the crystals. So, I'll keep working on it. I am enjoying wearing them. Just need to make them tougher!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Now I'm Sewing!

Jennifer has inspired me! After seeing the fun that she had making my dress, I decided to try sewing again. I have sewed in the past, but it's been about 20 years since I've done anything besides patching things. So, with apprehension, and pep talks from Jennifer, I decided to jump into handbag making!

I love looking at the fabric bags that are available in the stores now, with their bright fabrics and fun details. But usually something about them doesn't suit me. So, I made my own! I stumbled around quite a bit, had to pull out a lot of seams, but had fun and I'm happy with the results.

The upper photo shows my first bag. I love it, but it is too small for all the stuff I carry. I guess I could carry less. But I love to have my cell phone, camera, camera charger, wallet, sunglasses, (you get the picture) with me at all times. I must admit that when I scaled down and used this purse for a couple days, my shoulder didn't hurt!
But, on to the next bag. This one is definitely bigger! I call it the Happy Hobo bag. I went for brighter material. And glued rhinestones in places. It was interesting installing a zipper when I haven't done it in so long. Made some mistakes, but it came out okay. I think if I ever made this bag again, I'd add a zippered divider pocket in the middle. Gotta love pockets in handbags!

I really enjoyed making these. Now I feel torn. Make jewelry or make handbags. Hmmm.....

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Wedding Dress Saga - The End!

Well, it's time to end the dress saga! The wedding is over! It was beautiful and wonderful. Johanna was a gorgeous bride and Jonathan was extremely handsome. I'll do a post about them too.

But look at this amazing dress that Jennifer made for me! It was just perfect and I felt special wearing something that was made just for me. Thank you, Jennifer, my friend.

And of course, the jewelry... well, it matched perfectly and made me feel like a princess.

So now that all the big events are over (Jonathan's college graduation, Jeremy's Marine boot camp graduation, and Jonathan and Johanna's wedding) I should be able to make new jewelry creations! I can't wait to see what I come up with!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Jewelry for My Mom

It's been so much fun making jewelry for our son's wedding! My lovely mother is wearing a blue and white dress. So here is the jewelry I made to match her dress. I mailed the jewelry to her, and I can't wait to see her in it!

And, don't tell anyone, but I was tempted to keep it for myself. Of course, Matt, my dear husband, would tell you that I usually am.

Thankfully, I'll get to see these pieces again on my wonderful mom! Can't wait to see you again, Mom.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Wedding Dress Saga 2

Below is the pattern for my new dress. I've taken the liberty of putting two patterns together. The top and skirt will be the same color, cocoa. It looks the color of cocoa mix before water is added. The collar, sleeves, and a border at the bottom of the blouse will be a sheer chiffon of a slightly darker color.

Jennifer is working hard at this project! She is such a sweet friend.

So, of course I needed to make a new set of jewelry to go with the new dress. Again, I've used the new wire wrapping techniques that I have been enjoying. The necklace has a smoky quartz oval in the middle. The gold-filled frame has Swarovski pearls and crystals wrapped onto it. I've named it "Romantic Dream Necklace."

To complete the set I made earrings, a two stranded bracelet, and even tried my hand at making a ring! This ring is the third one I made. The other two are still great, but not quite the look I was wanting. The ring is shown on the fabric swatches from the fabric of my dress. I hadn't made rings before, but it's so much fun. I'm sure you'll be seeing more rings from me!

Just two more weeks until Jonathan and Johanna will tie the knot! May God richly bless them with His joy, love, and peace.