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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Part Two- Ennice and Bragg Creek




Yesterday I mentioned that after researching the town of Ennice, North Carolina...due to my feedjit fiasco, I saw some interesting similarities between that area, and where I live here in Alberta. Both the town of Ennice and Bragg Creek are small rural communities, very close to mountains and next to rivers, and surrounded by majestic beauty! Ennice, being located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, next to the New River, and Bragg Creek being close to the Rocky Mountains and next to the Elbow River. It seems like Ennice would be a great place to vist if you like the outdoors, and enjoy fishing, hiking, kayaking etc. as it is close to several state parks including Stone Mountain State Park. Here Bragg Creek, also known as "The Gateway to the Kananaskis", is surrounded by hiking trails, campgrounds, and the river provides lots of opportunities for river rafting, kayaking and fishing. Kananaskis country is a beautiful area, filled with outdoor recreational activities year round. Golfing in summer and skiing during the winter months are also extremely popular activities in both areas.

Now for the weather. Even although Ennice, is much farther south than where I live, both areas still share some similar weather patterns. Spring in Ennice, is said to be unpredictable...which sounds alot like here, where in springtime we can experience some of the biggest snowfalls of the year, or warm sunny, short wearing, barbequing kinda weather! In summer we get some terrific thunderstorms in the afternoons and evenings, and seems like Ennice also experiences the same thing! North Carolina looks like a beautiful place to visit, and maybe one day I will! For more information on Ennice, including where to stay if you decide to visit... click here. The pictures above are of the Kananaskis area, here near my home. For some fantastic photography of the Blue Ridge Mountains, check out Marty Hulsebos High Country Images.
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Friday, August 29, 2008

Feedjit and Ennice, North Carolina

A few weeks ago I installed the Feedjit widget onto my blog. "How cool!' I thought, as now I could see the locations where all my readers come from. After surfing through several blogs and sites that also had feedjit, I started to notice that this person from Ennice, North Carolina was visiting all the same sites as me! How absurd, how weird, how creepy, I thought....that someone was following me around checking out the very same sites as me. Duh..... it finally clicked that it WAS me! I was Ennice, North Carolina!! I actually live in Alberta, Canada...so just a few miles off! So today I removed the feedjit widget from my blog, as I started to realize that maybe this was not as accurate as I had originally thought. However, I decided to check out this place called Ennice, as I was now curious as to what this liitle place was all about. So here is what I found out:



Ennice is approxiamately 3747 kilometers from my house, or about a 38 hour drive.

The population of Ennice is 1,743.

Ennice is a small town located in the northwest Blue Ridge Mountains between the New River and the Blue Ridge Parkway, two-hours from Winston-Salem and Charlotte.

Compared to the rest of the country,the cost of living in Ennice, is 6.54% Lower than the U.S. average.

The New and Little Rivers near Ennice offer canoeing, kayaking, rafting and fishing and miles of hiking trails can be found in the surrounding state parks and country backroads.

There are alot of golf courses and ski areas within a short distance of Ennice.

The weather looks quite nice there, with a mild winter, and warm humid summers.



There seems to be some issues with ghosts in Ennice!



As I gather this information, I notice how there are many similarities between this town of Ennice, North Carolina, and Bragg Creek, Alberta...where I live. Very interesting, we could be sister towns! Part two tomorrow...stay tuned. Oh yes, and remember, that if you see Ennice, North Carolina on your feedjit, it may just be me!

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Forever Young


This morning I said goodbye to daughter number three, as she headed off to her first year of university in British Columbia. Her car was packed to the rafters, with all her prized possessions as well as the basics to start her new life on campus. My husband has gone with her, to share the eleven hour drive, and to make sure she settles in to her new dorm with minimum hassle. So that leaves only one child at home now, our ten year old son. The other two girls left years ago, one is married with children of her own, and the other is an independant free spirit that has almost finished her carpenter apprenticeship. They are all so different, yet I am so proud of each one. The time goes by so quickly, they are small for such little time...one minute they depend on you for everything, and the next moment they are enthusiastically heading out to the big world all on their own. I believe Rod Stewart said it best in how all I am feeling at this moment:


May the good Lord be with you down every road you roam

and may sunshine and happiness surround you when you're far from home.

And may you grow to be proud dignified and true

and do onto others as you'd have done to you.

Be courageous and be brave

and in my heart you'll always stay forever young

forever young.

May good fortune be with you

may your guiding light be strong.

build a stairway to heaven with a prince or a vagabond.

And may you never love in vain

and in my heart you will remain

forever young

And when you finally fly away

I'll be hoping that I've served you well

for all the wisdom of a lifetime no one can ever tell.

But whatever road you choose

I'm right behind you win or lose

forever young


Rod Stewart
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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pretty fabric bags for your jewels














A few months ago, I decided that I wanted something very special to package my necklaces and bracelets in, other than the standard cardboard jewelry box that I had been using. I found that many people did not even want the box to store their jewelry in, and mailing my jewelry inside the box to customers, was costly and inefficient. So I started the task of looking for an alternative way to present and package my jewels. At the jewelry supply stores and display type warehouses, there were still the standard, gold, silver or black boxes, and every now and then I would come across boxes that were colored, but nothing really "wowed" me. As well, I was thinking "green", and decided that since I am a major recycler... that I needed something that was reusable, that was not going to end up in the landfill. So out with all paper and cardboard products! "Hey, I sell on Etsy."... I thought to myself, perhaps there is some type of handmade product there that would work! So I scoured the pages of Etsy until I came upon this shop that had sumptuous jewelry bags out of colorful, funky, fashion cotton fabrics by Amy Butler, and luxurious satin brocades.Shop owner, Edie, kindly custom made some lovely bags for my jewelry, so now when you purchase any Hot Rocks bracelet or necklace, it will arrive to you in one of these lovely professionally handmade bags by EdieCastle Creations. She makes wonderful bridal pouches, handbags, totes and fabulous jewelry rolls,for very reasonable prices... and she does an amazing job!
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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Summer Jewels






With summer coming to an end, I thought I would feature some of my favourite Hot Rocks designs, that were inspired by the thoughts and memories of those steamy hot, sunny days of my favourite season. I love summer... the simplicity of being able to walk outside without all the additional items required to keep one warm. I enjoy the lazy days relaxing outside on my deck with a good book, and an ice cold drink. I love the feeling of the cool water on my hot skin when I go for that refreshing dip into the lake. The smell of burgers and steaks, sizzling on the barbeque, as friends gather for an evening of socializing on a Saturday night.I love to be outside, gardening, surrounded by the still air, the flowers and my thoughts. Oh, how I will miss you my friend! It is such a short season for us here in my part of the world.

So here are my personal faves to keep the Summer alive all year long.

The "Montego Bay" bracelet featuring a stunning dichroic Venetian glass heart, is filled with juicy, warm, tropical colors, such as pineapple, watermelon and tangerine.This would be the perfect accessory to take on a cruise to a warm destination this winter, to wear simply with a white cotton shirt, or to snazz up that little black cocktail dress. If you love casual, lazy, sunny days, then the "Sunshine on My Shoulders" bracelet is the accessory for you! Featuring a huge coppery amber colored, sparkling Swarovski crystal, wrapped in handmade sterling silver coils, this one is really a fun and unique piece. Inspired my one of my favourite places on earth....Maui, Hawaii,... is "Ocean Deep". This is one sexy bracelet! The gorgeous clasp is the focal here, and is surrounded by Swarovski crystals, labradorite stones, ocean colored faux pearls, and smoky quartz. This bracelet is all about Mauis' ocean waves, and you can read a more detailed description here in my Etsy shop. This bracelet and all of these fabulous unique pieces are currently for sale in my Etsy store. Enjoy the rest of those summer days, as they will soon be coming to an end and that four letter word beginning with S, will be upon us once again!
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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Canadian Artists

If you love to read blogs by wonderfully creative and unique individuals, then you must check out the Caneh? blog roll, featuring some very talented artists from Canada, (you know that country north of the United States?) that work in a variety of mediums. You will find stampers and soapmakers, and artists that work with wood, ceramics, ink, watercolors, oils, and silks.The list is growing all the time! Its a great way to get inside an artists' brain for a short while!! Pin It

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Camping and all that stuff!

This past weekend our family, and two other families who are close friends of ours, did our annual summer camping trip. This year we got lucky with the weather, as it was hot, hot, hot! The majority of the times we go camping, the weather has been unseasonally cold, or rainy, so this time we were all looking forward to camping in the heat. Fortunately we camp at one of the few lakes, here in Alberta, so having the cool lake water to swim in was a bonus this weekend. Over the years our camping "style", has evolved, from the days when all we took were the essential items such as tent, sleeping bag, hot dogs and a six pack of beer... to today, where we load up the car with everything but the kitchen sink! Now we have not only a gas stove for cooking, but a gas barbeque as well ...for grilling. We have an infinate number of flashlights and lanterns, solar powered, battery powered, and propane powered, as well as a variety of pumps for blowing up things like air mattresses and of course all those inflatable beach toys that we just HAVE to take to the lake. There are coolers for food, coolers for juice and pop, coolers for alcoholic beverages, Rubbermaid containers with more food.... in case we run out, tarps, tablecloths, a variety of dishes and cooking utensils, games...in case we get bored, and buckets of sand toys for the kids! This year, my husband and I decided that out days of "roughin' it" on the ground with an air mattress were coming to an end, so we went out and purchased a deluxe camping bed. It actually was superb, very cushy and extremely nice being off the hard lumpy ground. All in all it was a great weekend, although packing up all that stuff is alot of work...especailly when you get home and have to unpack it all! This all reminded me of George Carlins' Stuff, I love that routine of his...RIP George! Pin It

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Blushing Brides-Brandee






Back in April, I featured the first of my Blushing Brides, the lovely Erin. Today I am introducing my second bride in my series, Brandee. Brandee is a natural beauty, with a gorgeous smile and a unique style all her own! Check out those blue shoes! Brandee, found one of my bracelets online, and after a series of conversations, together we came up with ideas for a matching necklace and earrings, designed just for her, on her special day. Brandee was a delight to work with. She looks like she had a fantastic wedding day! Here is what she had to say:


"When looking for the right jewelry for my wedding day, I became frustrated. Nothing I could find matched my person style, my colours or my theme. I came across the PERFECT piece, a bracelet I found online at etsy.com and I had to have it. The piece was by HotRocksGlassJewels and it screamed my name. I contacted the seller and after a few short conversations, she had designed a set for me – complete with earrings and a necklace to match the bracelet! The price was extremely reasonable, and the items were EXACTLY what I was looking for. It was a pleasure to work with Susan on this design. She is full of great ideas, and really took what I wanted and needed and delivered an elegant, funky and perfectly me set! From start to finish the transaction was fun, easy and fast! I highly recommend her to anyone looking to add personal style to their wedding day. I got so many compliments on my jewelry and have worn it several times since! "

Brandee


*You can see a close up of the custom designed "True Colors "bracelet and necklace, that I designed for Brandee on this page.
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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

New Hot Rocks Jewelry Designs






While I was on vacation, at a local farmers market,I was lucky enough to meet two wonderful talented, lampwork artists who made some the most fabulous beads I have ever seen. Needless to say I purchased some of their artwork, and have incorporated these beads into my latest designs. This week I am featuring the pieces that I created using the lampwork beads of Canadian glass artist, Jane Perala.Among her designs, she creates the most spectacular beach themed beads, with tiny starfish and miniature sealife all made out of glass and incorporateed into the bead design. Also her shell beads are simply stunning, as you can see here on the pink necklace, where I have featured one of her beads. At the present time,my Etsy store is pretty much empty as my friend has taken all of my jewelry to her family reunion hoping to make some sales for me! I should have my shop restocked again in about a week, once I get my jewelry back from her. I will feature the second great lampwork artists' beads in a future post.... so stay tuned! I hope you enjoy these pieces, and if I should have them available for sale in my Etsy store soon!
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