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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year 2010!


I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas! I must apologize for the lack of posts lately. With all the kids descending upon the household in the last couple of weeks, it has been rather hectic around here. Some days I am cooking for 5, some days it's 9. Of course getting some time on the computer has been a bit of a challenge as well. It has been wonderful having all the kids home for the holidays, and we have enjoyed playing games, chatting, watching some great movies, going for wintery walks in the snow and just hanging out enjoying each others company. Now we approach a new year, a new decade and of course new resolutions for a fresh start. I want to thank all my readers for visiting and actually reading my blog, and I wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year for 2010!
Susan
(aka Hot Rocks!) Pin It

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Walking in a winter wonderland....

Sleigh bells ring

Are you listenin'?

In the air, snow is glistenin'

A beautiful sight

We're happy tonight

Walking in a winter wonderland.



Today I took some pictures that around my area. It is very white and Christmasy outside right now, and is like walking in a winter wonderland!






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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Clean slate

The last few days have been spent wrapping Christmas gifts and decorating the house for the holidays. Now that my Etsy shop is on vacation for a few weeks, I have finally had time to get around to cleaning up my creative space. It was quite a disaster after being busy with the Christmas craft shows, I had beads and supplies everywhere! My desk was cluttered with tools, wire, receipts, tags, etc. it was really a mess. I am normally quite an organized and tidy person, so you can imagine that this was literally driving me nuts. My studio, also doubles as a gift wrapping room, as well as having a hide-a bed couch, becoming another spare room for guests or family members when they come to stay. So being that we will have company over the holidays, and the fact that all the wrapping of presents is complete, I thought it was time to get it ship shape! So I put on some good tunes and got to work! After alot of effort, it was finally perfect. Here you can see my mannequins, Betty and Lucy taking some time off too! See my desk all organized...now I can be inspired to create once again! I now also have a nice clean slate and fresh start for my work in the New Year.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I Believe in Father Christmas



This is my all time favourite Christmas song. Written by Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, and recorded in 1974. It was apparantly written by Lake in protest to the commercialism that surrounded Christmas. Enjoy!
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Monday, December 14, 2009

You know its cold when..........

You know it's cold when you go outside and your nostril hairs stick together when you breathe!
You know its cold when you can feel your legs freezing right through your jeans!
You know it is cold when your hair and eyelashes turn frosty white in seconds!
You know it's cold when the snow squeaks as you walk on it!
You know it's cold when you have on your warmest down jacket done up to your face, a hat on, your hood on over your hat, your mitts on, and after 5 minutes outside you are still freezing cold!
Temperature today -31C or-24 F!
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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Oh, Christmas tree...oh, Christmas tree.........

We put our Christmas tree up on Sunday, and I am enjoying that lovely fresh pine scent, that fills the room , it is so Christmasy! This year we put our tree in the basement, since we have a walk out, it makes it easy to get the tree in and out of the house without dropping needles through the whole place. Also the boxes of decorations are also stored downstairs in the basement, which make sit easy to haul them out for tree decorating. For the past 25 years or so, whenever I have purchased a special ornament for the tree I have tried to buy something in either a white or silver color. Now I can change my color scheme for the tree easily by adding in some basic inexpensive ornaments in another color...this year it is blue! I purchased 2 large boxes of blue ornaments a month ago that were on sale at 50% off! As you can see, the white and silver always work in with any color, and I enjoy switching it up each year. Last year, our tree was on the main level of our house and it was red and gold with white and silver. One year it was completely just silver and white. I think next year I would like to do something funky like purple and lime green!



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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

"Hazy Shade of Winter"

This past weekend, I spent several hours taking photos of some new jewelry pieces, that I was getting ready to list on Etsy. It is quite a time consuming process, as I always take many, many pictures of the same item, trying different angles, close up shots, on the mannequin, off the mannequin, different props, different lighting and different backgrounds etc. It is only when I finally get the photos uploaded onto the computer screen, that I can actually see which ones are good enough for the store listing, and which are trash! Most are trash! Then I have to crop and re size the pictures before they are good to go. This simple little pendant was a bit of a challenge because it is a clear crystal, and you can see through it, plus it is quite basic, and it was difficult to get it from looking boring! I called it "Hazy Shade of Winter", a song written by Paul Simon, and recorded by Simon and Garfunkle in the 1960's, but I think maybe more popular and more memorable is the Bangles cover version from the '80s! Anyhow, I wanted to show you the different background shots that I took of this snowflake pendant so you can see the difference. Which ones are your favorite, and why?


1.
2.
3.

4.
5.
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7.You can see which ones that I chose for the listing here!

Hazy Shade of Winter

Time, time, time
See what's become of me...

Time, time, time
See what's become of me
While I looked around
For my possibilities
I was so hard to please

Look around
Leaves are brown
And the sky
Is a Hazy Shade of Winter

Hear the Salvation Army Band
Down by the riverside
It's bound to be a better ride
Than what you've got planned
Carry a cup in your hand

Look around
Leaves are brown
And the sky
Is a Hazy Shade of Winter

Hang onto your hopes my friend
That's an easy thing to say
But if your hopes should pass away
Simply pretend
That you can build them again

Look around
Grass is high
Fields are ripe
It's the springtime of my life

Seasons change with their scenery
Weaving time in a tapestry
Won't you stop and remember me

Look around
Leaves are brown
And the sky
Is a Hazy Shade of Winter

Look around
Leaves are brown
There's a patch of snow on the ground
Look around
Leaves are brown
There's a patch of snow on the ground
Look around
Leaves are brown
There's a patch of snow on the ground
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Monday, December 7, 2009

A cold and frosty morning!

It is still dark outside this morning as I write this. I am enjoying my cup of coffee, while waiting for my son to finish getting ready for school before I walk him up to the bus stop, at the end of our neighbors driveway. We had a big winter storm pass through here on Friday, closing highways and playing havoc with drivers in the city and rural areas as well. The storm has since passed but it is now terribly cold outside, today is minus 27 C, or minus 17 F for my American friends. Even for us Canadians, that is cold! So today I will hunker down by my fireplace, with a good book, and relax without feeling guilty, enjoying my day...because today is my birthday! Pin It

Friday, December 4, 2009


Here is a brand new listing in my Etsy shop today!
Perfect for the holidays with that little black dress, and just as cute with jeans and a white t-shirt or pretty blouse. Suspended from sterling silver chains loosley woven together, is this beautiful sparkling deep red Swarovski crystal heart. Nothing dazzles in the light like genuine Swarovski crystal. The larger link chain has a hammered effect and is just one of the mos
t gorgeous chains I have seen in a long while! Inspired by the Twilight movies, this is my version! Priced at $80.00 USD. A fabulous gift for girls and women of all ages. Shipping deadlines are fast approaching too! Europe and Australia have now passed the deadline for guaranteed shipping for Christmas.

Here are Canada and USA deadlines:

To the USA-Dec.14

To Canada-Regular Parcel post Dec.11 -Xpress post- Dec.22

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Rutilated Quartz

With the holiday season quickly approaching, what could be prettier and more festive than golden Rutilated quartz! Sure the name isn't so pretty, but this natural crystal is one of my favorites. Also known, as the hair of Venus, this crystal has tiny golden colored needles that are actually crystals, that have formed within a crystal...cool! Rutilated quartz is said to contain sunlight, which alleviates depression and is also believed to slow down the aging process! It is also said to have a calming effect on the wearer, promote good sleep, stimulate self healing and symbolize truth.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Our Snow Village



Every year at Christmas time, we put out our "Snow Village". Snow village is a collection of little retro buildings and accessories that captures the nostalgia of towns, cities and country life from the 1950's era. The Dept.56 Snow Village collection, began in 1976, with 6 houses in the original collection and now has hundreds of buildings, in several village styles which have become highly collectable. Each year certain buildings are retired, no longer being made, and new houses and accessories are introduced. Some people go nuts with the collecting! I have tried to keep the collection under control, as one only has so much room to store these little houses when they are not on display! So yesterday, my son had the day off school.so I enlisted his help with setting up the village for the upcoming holiday season. It is a huge job, and every year, I wonder what the heck I am doing.....but after several hours of unpacking tiny houses and little people from their styrofoam packaging, and dealing with a mess of electrical cords, plugs and extension cords it all is worth it when you see the result. I love placing the people and animals into position...it's like having control over your own miniature world. Click on the pictures to get a better view of this little world!

I would love to be a visitor in this Snow Village! A magical, retro world of Christmas! Back in the good ol' days when times were simple...or so they say! I love them all but have my favorites, such as the Merry Christmas Trailer, Long Haul Truck Stop with actual spinning donut, and the little boys making their the skating rink
.
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Sunday, November 29, 2009

"Autumn in New York"- vintage pearl bracelet


I just listed this new bracelet on Etsy today, named "Autumn in New York", after the song written in 1934 by Vernon Duke, and sang by various artists including Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. So why did I choose this song? Well this little number features some gorgeous vintage, butter cream pearls from the 1930's! All uncirculated and in mint condition. So I wanted a vintage, classic song, to reflect the feeling of class and glamor of days gone by. There are also Swarovski crystals for sparkle, as well as big Swarovski pearls in fashionable plum (all very New York uptown, glam etc.) and pretty copper beads, which add the "Autumn" to the bracelet.
A lovely Christmas gift for someone special!

Autumn in New York
Why does it seem so exciting (inviting)
Autumn in New York It spells the thrill of first-nighting
Shimmering clouds -
glimmering crowds (glittering crowds and shimmering clouds)
In canyons of steel They're making me feel - I'm home
It's autumn in New York
That brings a (the) promise of new love
Autumn in New York
Is often mingled with pain
Dreamers with empty hands
(They) All sigh for exotic lands
(But) It's autumn in New York
It's good to live it again
This autumn in New York
Transforms the slums into Mayfair

Autumn in New York You'll need no castles in Spain
Lovers that bless the dark
On benches in Central Park
(But) It's autumn in New York
It's good to live it again (- in New York)




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Thursday, November 26, 2009

New earrings

Happy Thanksgiving, to my American readers! Have a wonderful time with your families and friends over the holidays.

My earring supply has really dwindled since the shows that I did earlier this month. So this week I have spent some time building back up, my stock of earrings. Here are a couple:

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Result!

So here is the result from my "So You think you Can Dance" inspiration!
This unstructured bracelet has a real feminine feel to it. I think it would be a fab accessory to dress up a little black dress for the Christmas holidays. Here it is on:

I am not the greatest hand model...but you get the idea!
Now I just have to think of what to name it. Pin It

Monday, November 23, 2009

Inspiration!

When ever I am starting to design a new piece of jewelry, the first intitial thoughts for the piece always start with the inspiration. Inspiration surrounds us, anything can inspire a design or a color scheme, from nature, fashion, a picture or piece of art, a store window, a magazine ad....the list goes on! This latest piece was inspired by a recent episode of "So You Think You Can Dance"! As much as I enjoy the dancing, I was actually inspired by the dresses worn that evening by host Kat Deeley, and by judge Mary Murphy. Kat was wearing a lovely silver metallic dress and Mary had on a pretty black dress, and that was my inspiration for my next piece of jewelry. I just had to design something in black and silver! The next step is to gather the materials. So I collected all the beads, crystals, chains, clasp etc., that I thought may work in this design.

Then, I got to work with a vision in my head of creating something very feminine, and beautiful, just like the two ladies that inspired my design. Stay tuned for the result! Pin It

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Blaze of Glory

This necklace would be perfect over the holiday season! I combined Swarovski crystals in copper and a few in pink, with some freshwater pearls all hand wired onto a double link sterling silver chain, and finshed with a very pretty, handcrafted, Bali silver toggle clasp. Because it is so blingy, and full of fire, I just could not resist naming it
"Blaze of Glory"!



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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A few newer Hot Rocks designs for your viewing pleasure!
This bold bracelet was made using a variety of sterling silver bead shapes, charms and square Swarovski crystals strung onto chain. I added my own hand coiled bead and finished it with a huge Thai silver toggle clasp. his bracelet has a lot of movement and is a ton of fun!
Named "Love Peace and Happiness", for sale in my Etsy shop.

This one is so sweet, I called it "Sugar Mountain"! I combined a very pretty Venetian glass heart, with art glass beads and Swarovski crystals.For sale now in my Etsy shop.

This necklace combines silver, copper, green opal stones and a fantastic Swarovski crystal. This one is called "Penny Lane" On Etsy now.


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Monday, November 16, 2009

Great Sales and an award from the Queen!


This weekends, art and craft show and sale was another success, I met some fabulous artists at the venue, and had a great time meeting new clients and selling my jewels! I am glad the seasons shows are all over for now, as I am exhausted, and my housework has been neglected over the past couple of weeks. I thank all my readers for your wonderful words of support and from my last post, it is so nice to have such wonderful friends in the bloggy world! I also received the One Lovely Blog Award from the Queen Speaks. The Queen, has a very entertaining blog, packed with humor, which often sends me laughing. Her posts on family and home life with her teenagers always crack me up! The Queen blogs on crafting, current topics, and life in general. She has a real mixed bag of topics on her blog, and is always a good read.
Here are the rules:
Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

S0, here are the blogs that I have discovered within the last several months, unfortunately there are not 15 that I can say are newly discovered, as I have many older faves that I regularly visit, and there is only so much time in a day! However, here are my 5 newest faves. These are blogs that I now regularly visit and I enjoy them all immensely! In no particular order:

Wii Mommies
(Yes I have a Wii fit that I work out to regularly to, I especially enjoy Golds Gym Cardio Workout) These ladies have fitness and nutrition tips, and real life stories on their struggles with weight loss.

WillOaks Studio
A wonderful jewelry designer, who is also an amazing photographer. Lots of lovely eye candy on this blog!

Duck and Wheel with String
Lins blog is packed full of humor...if you need a good laugh...or even sometimes a good cry, you will always get a great read on her blog! She is one powerful, emotional and talented writer. She also has a very soft side to her as well, as seen in her posts on her backyard froggy pond.

Sweet Bead Studio
Cindy is another talented jewelry designer, and busy mom of four boys, blogging on her jewelry designs and family life. Her beautiful blog is always a joy to visit!

Accent the Party- Party Blog
If you need decor ideas, and party favors for any type of party, celebration or wedding, this is a must to check out. Loads of great info and great pictures on this blog!
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Monday, November 9, 2009

Success!

The art show (Beyond Art Marketplace) that I was involved in this past weekend was a super success! I sold a lot of my jewelry, including all 4 of the necklaces that I featured in a recent post, the bracelet featured in the magazine, as well as several other key pieces and far exceeded my sales goal! The show was well organized and promoted and the room was filled were some amazing artists. There were a lot of serious shoppers and the show was well received by the crowd. My feet are sore, and I am quite exhausted after 2 and a half days of selling, however it was well worth the work. The trouble is that I have a second big show coming up this weekend, and I am quite low on stock as I did not anticipate selling quite as much as I did at this show....so guess what I am doing this week? So I will be away from the computer a bit more in the next few days and I apologize in advance to my Entrecard readers, as I may not have as much time to devote to dropping cards this week, but I will do my best! As for now it is back to work! Pin It

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Jewelry display

Whenever I am preparing for the first art/craft sale of the season, I always like to do a trial run of my display. It makes the process of setting up at the show much quicker when you know what your plan is, and you can see what exactly you need and do not need for props. I like to have different levels on my table to keep things interesting, so one of my mannequin heads is displayed on a shelf that is actually a few inches higher than the table it sits on. Then I have another table that is a bit taller than my long table. Recently, I purchased some new wooden display fixtures, and some little mannequin bust forms for my jewelry, as I wanted to take my booths' image up a level this season, to a more professional appearance. So this week I did my mock set up...sans jewelry of course, with the exception of a few earrings, to try out on my new earring stands. I still have the girls, Betty and Lucy as I call them, as they are attention getters, and add a bit of pizzaz to the whole look! The wooden necklace displays are from an online fixture store, and are great for layering up necklaces. I also bought the tiered bracelet display from there as well. The wooden tray was a bargain from Value Village, that I think I am going to paint a dark brown like the rest of the fixtures. The little mannequin bust forms are from a discount fashion outlet, and my new "earring displays" are actually supposed to be wall mounted racks for displaying art,and are from Ikea! Oh yes, and the tablecloths have been ironed, they look bad in these pics! This display is set up in my living room, and my fireplace in the background is a bit distracting...but hope you can get the idea!

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Magazine feature!

On Friday I was featured along with 3 other artists, in the Calgary Heralds' Swerve magazine, regarding the upcoming artisan sale that will be held this weekend. You can see my bracelet that was pictured, in the scan of the article below!

Here is what the article said:

Beyond the Crocheted Tea Cosy

Here are two words you're not ready to hear: Christmas shopping. Take heart, a new artisan marketplace will make it easy on you.

Jacquie Moore, Calgary Herald

Published: Friday, October 30, 2009

If there's one thing Patti Pelkie knows, it's that you and yours don't need another Popsicle-stick reindeer. God bless you, Patti Pelkie. Pelkie is an art lover and former small-business owner who has long been frustrated by what she calls the "hit-and-miss" nature of arts-and-crafts fairs. "I've found you often get Tupperware for sale next to Popsicle-stick crafts or you have the opposite--a stuffy art show." Pelkie decided to find some middle ground by hand-picking 30 local jewelry makers, painters, photographers and fibre and wood artists to sell their wares at the first annual Beyond: An Artisan and Artist Marketplace. The event takes place at the Blackfoot Inn's Crystal Ballroom where parking is free (God bless you, Patti Pelkie); 10 percent of proceeds from ticket sales goes to the In-Definite Arts Society to benefit artists with developmental disabilities. Here's a sampling of what to expect:

1. Can't: Bead it Jewelry designer Susan Stevens makes bracelets, necklaces and earrings inspired by the natural world she sees outside her Bragg Creek home. Her one-of-a-kind pieces combine sterling silver or 14-karat gold with gemstones, Swarovski crystal and lampwork beads hand-hewn by Canadian glass artisans. Prices range from $15 for a pair of earrings to $200 for a necklace.

2. Love Me, Love My Dog Portrait: ACAD class of "about a million years ago" graduate Barb Kowalik is a professional "computer geek" with a long list of commissions for her expressive pet portraits (you're too late to order a Christmas gift; book now for next year). Kowalik also weaves beaded jewelry, as well as paints canvas floor cloths and totems

3. Rattle and Hum: Not every unwanted tree in Calgary goes into the wood-chipper. Local arborists with an artistic bent call cabinetmaker Steven Pulvermacher when they have to cut down poplar, birch, elm and other trees. Pulvermacher turns the wood (literally) into unique bowls, vases and baby rattles. Prices range from $20 for a rattle to $1,000 for bowls and vases.

4. Start Your Engines: Despite the frequent requests she gets for frames oxidized in particular ways for her pieces, University of Alberta industrial-design grad Julie Witten-Land reminds her fans that she "can't control how things rust." Indeed, all the photographer can do is leave a sheet of metal in her backyard and see what happens. The one-of-a-kind frames are part of what makes her Jalopy Collection--detailed shots of classic cars found in B.C. and Alberta--so intriguing. $85, or $75 each if you buy three.

- - -

The first 25 readers to send an e-mail to swervecontests@theherald.canwest.com will receive two tickets to the event. Please put "Beyond" in the subject line and include a daytime phone number.

Beyond: An Artisan and Artist Marketplace runs Friday, Nov. 6 to Sunday, Nov. 8 at the Blackfoot Inn, 5940 Blackfoot Tr. S.E.

www.beyondmarketplace.com.







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Thursday, October 29, 2009

New necklaces

New Fall/Winter necklaces!


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Sizzling Sales and Promos!

Would you like to be notified of sales and promos at Hot Rocks?
If so send me your email address, and I will add you to my mailing list.
contact susan@hotrocksglassjewels.com