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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sweet Bead Studio and Canada Day

Yesterday I discovered a great new blog and wonderful talented jewelry artist, Cindy Wimmer, at Sweet Bead Studio. Cindys' unique designs are created with copper, sterling silver, wire, stainless steel and artisan beads. She is celebrating her blog makeover with some fabulous giveaways, including a metal embossing hammer, one of her mixed metal pendants or a fabulous lampwork and copper bracelet! Wow, it doesn't get any better than that!!

There will be three winners, so you have a great chance to win one of these fabulous prizes! Check out her blog to find out how to enter.

Also I would like to wish all of my Canadian readers a very happy Canada Day tomorrow, July 1st! Get out in the sun (hopefully its a great day for everyone) and celebrate!

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Teach Your Children

This is a custom order bracelet that I recently finished. I was contacted by a kindergarten parent, representing the class Moms, who wanted to purchase a bracelet for the teacher as an end of the year gift. The teacher, has actually purchased several of my pieces in the past, and they knew that she liked my designs. They wanted to somehow be able to represent the 19 students in the class, and also have the year, 2009, incorporated into the design. I found some fabulous beads by lampwork artist, Christy Howard, in these gorgeous bright crayon colors, and made them my inspiration. I wanted to the finished piece to have a playful, childlike feeling, as it was a gift from her kindergarten class. I made 19 lampwork glass bead dangles, to represent each child, and added in some sterling silver heart charms, one with "joy"...which is actually her name! I then added a fabulous sterling silver keepsake tag, custom designed by LillyEllen Designs. I had her stamp the year into the center, and the words "teach, inspire, dream" around the bottom edge. It turned out fabulous, and I was so pleased with the final result. This one had to be called "Teach your Children", by CSNY.

"Don't you ever ask them why
if they told you, you would cry
so just look at them and sigh
and know they love you. "
Graham Nash

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Home again

Well, I am back after a very busy few days out on the west coast! The move into our new vacation home went well, and yes I did manage to get out onto the beach 3 times. We also played mini golf one afternoon, and went on a great forest hike to some waterfalls on another day. So we did manage to take a few breaks between unpacking and cleaning. Then we had to get up at 4:00 AM to drive to the airport to catch an early flight home, so that we would be back in time for the Fleetwood Mac concert. It was certainly worth it, because they totally rocked! Stevie looked gorgeous,with her flowing shawls and dresses, and Lindsey was awesome as he strutted across the stage and wailed on his guitar! They still know how to rock, that's for sure! A very entertaining concert, that had us all up screaming and dancing by the end. So I don't have any photos of the Fleetwood Mac concert, but although not as exciting...... I do have some beach pics, of my son, daughter, husband and myself!

Don't ya just love my hair in that photo of my daughter and was a bit windy that day!

My brave son swimming in the ocean.

Needless to say, I am now exhausted!
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Monday, June 15, 2009

My Island home!

I am getting prepared to spend a few days in one of my favorite places on earth, beautiful Vancouver Island, B.C. I love to visit this special place, as it is different from the foothills of the Rockies, where I live full time. There is of course the ocean, which brings with it such fabulous wildlife and scenery, and is a nice change from the forest and rivers that surround my current home. We are going there this time, to move our furniture and things from our old vacation home to our newly purchased vacation home. Our new home has a lovely view of the ocean and the mountains, and is just across the road from a scenic secluded beach, where there is some fantastic beach combing and some excellent tide pools at low tide for viewing starfish and sea anemones.

I love to watch the bald eagles, herons and even sea lions there, during certain times of the year. It is a very relaxing place surrounded by stunning scenery and fantastic nature. It is a super place for getting inspiration and to soothe ones soul! So even although I will be moving, unpacking and cleaning, I hope to sneak in a couple of walks down at the beach!

I will be back next week just in time to attend the rescheduled Fleetwood Mac concert here....yay!!!

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Etsy Yart Sale

This is the last couple of days to get in on the Etsy Yart Sale, which ends June14. What is a "Yart Sale"? Well that would be a yard art sale, Yard +Art=Yart!

Some sellers have reductions on merchandise, others have free shipping, it depends on what each unique store is offering. You can search the sales on Etsy by using "Yart" as your search word, on the different categories such as handmade, vintage and supplies.

I have some great reductions on several item in my shop, most items in the Scorching Yart Sales section have been reduced by $15.00 to $20.00 off the regular price! Come visit me!

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What's your favourite color?

How do you answer the question "What's your favorite color?" I love many colors, but red somehow pops into my mind as the first color that I think of when I am asked this question. Red...I don't currently have any items of clothing in red, although I have been told in the past that I certainly can wear red! I am drawn to the color red in home decor, and have the walls in my great room and dining room a lovely shade of deep subdued red, called "Sundried Tomato". The warm glow that the walls give off in the evening light is fabulous. I love kitchen accessories in red, and have always dreamed of owning a red Kitchen- Aid Mixer, although I do own a cream one.

I once purchased a set of red mixing bowls....not because I needed them, but because I loved the color! I salivate over pictures in magazines that feature glossy red kitchen cabinets, but would I ever have the guts to do that in my own home? My favorite fruits, raspberries and strawberries are red.Nothing beats fresh red tomatoes from the garden, and sweet red peppers in a salad. A glass of red wine would be divine! I love red shoes, red purses and red belts! I adore red roses and lilies and crimson colored poppies.
I love art with bright red colors. This piece called "Hypnotic Muse" by Ford Smith, hangs in my
home and I find pleasure in it everyday.

One of my favourite childrens books is Red is Best, by Kathy Stinson, where I love the part when Kelly has to have her juice in the RED cup..because it tastes better in the Red cup!

Red represents power...think" red tie". Red symbolizes love and sexuality and is often worn by brides in eastern countries. Red is the color of happiness and prosperity in China. We "roll out the red carpet" for special guests and celebrities, and we "paint the town red" when we are out to celebrate and have a good time. Red grabs your attention!

So what is your favoutite color? I would love to hear from you! Please leave me a comment, and/or answer my poll on the upper left column. Pin It

Saturday, June 6, 2009

June bridal "Killer Queen" necklace

Since it is now June, and to celebrate all those upcoming June weddings, I am featuring my newest design, a fabulous, chunky, glam necklace, which I think would be wonderful show stopping necklace for the bride. After the wedding, create a fashion statement by pairing it up with jeans and a white lacy cami for a casual night on the town. This necklace is made of the finest rock crystal, sterling silver and some absolutely stunning pristine vintage Swarovski crystals. Named "Killer Queen", in honour of the famous song by the band Queen, because I think this is a "killer" necklace! Available now in my Etsy shop!

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Friday, June 5, 2009

Cool 3D Art!

A friend of mine sent me these pictures of this very cool three dimensional street art, which looks like it is done in chalk.I believe this is from somewhere in Europe. Enjoy and have a great weekend!

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Doing Arts and Craft shows

Today I read a great post on Lenox Knits blog, all about doing craft shows. She is really organized, as she is already planning for Fall shows that she will be attending! So her post got me to thinking about some of the shows that I do as well as some that I would like to do. Most of the shows that I am involved in are in the Fall, usually between November and early December which are designed to attract the Christmas shoppers. I do a couple of the local shows in the area that I live in, which is west of the city of Calgary, a city with over a million people. The shows can attract a good amount of city folk who will travel the 30 minutes west out here to the country to attend these Christmas craft shows. These shows are usually fairly well attended, unless there is some freak snowstorm, and then attendance can be way down. The only beef I have with these shows are that they are billed as Arts and Crafts shows, however there are also a number of vendors that are just selling the mass produced "made in China" stuff, everything from purses to jewelry to ornaments etc! You know we artists cannot compete with those cheap prices, and quite often the cheap prices win out!

The other really good Christmas art and craft shows, some of which are juried, can be incredibly expensive to rent a booth at. There are some fantastic shows in Calgary, but it can cost up to $1500.00 and more to rent a spot for 2 or 3 days. I have no idea how anyone could afford that kind of pricing...certainly not me! However, artisans do attend so they must do well. I think some shows must keep many artists and crafters from renting a booth due to the high costs, which is too bad. I think that buying local and supporting local artists is definitely important, especially these days.

On outdoor shows...I attended my first as a vendor this past weekend. Luckily the weather was great, however there can be wind issues, so the whole table display needs to be rethought. Then there is the tent factor! Oh yeah, that can add a hefty cost, renting one of those babies...but you gotta have one to protect you and your merchandise from the elements. Also on Lenox Knits' blog she mentions the disadvantages of being next to a food vendor, and the cooking odors left behind on her scarves! Mmmm...never thought of that, but certainly a good point!
Please check out
Lenox Knits blog for all of her tips, and if you have any more interesting comments on your experiences from doing craft shows, I would love to hear them! Pin It

Monday, June 1, 2009

Calgary Lilac Festival

The Lilac Festival was great. The weather was hot...almost too hot, and there were swarms of people...almost too many! It was so crowded it was difficult for some people to actually get to the different booths along the roadway. I was right next to the music stage so I was able to hear all the great musicians and bands through out the day. The "people watching" was very entertaining as well! Among other things, I sold my Champagne Super Nova pearl necklace and matching earrings. In the top photo, check out the "legs", that display my anklets! I still have a good supply of finished jewelry pieces, so I plan on listing new items in my Etsy shop this week.
Here I am in my booth, I was next to a lady selling paintings!

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