Tuesday, July 28, 2009


My mom has been sewing since well before I was born. When I was a kid up through my teenage years, I tried sewing, but always found it frustrating and tedious, so even though I liked the idea of sewing my own clothes and other items, I just didn't do it much.

Well recently I decided to give it another try and to start with something small, simple and something I wanted anyway. So I decided to try my hand at making a pocket tissue holder.

Mom had one she'd made years ago (and had added a ribbon of cross stitch flowers and some eyelet ribbon as well) so we used it as a pattern for me to make one. I was a little dubious because when mom says something is "easy", I never know what I'm getting into because she has so much experience sewing that things that would be difficult for a beginner she's been doing so long they would seem very easy to her.

Fortunately, this one was right up my alley. It was quick to make and looked nice when I was finished. I think I was more proud of that little tissue holder than I've been of anything else in a long while. I had conquered the "I can't sew" demon and, in the words of my 4 year old, "I DID IT MYSELF!"

I decided to make a few extra (my older daughter wanted one too), and ended up with these two that weren't being given to someone else. I'm considering adding these (and some other sewn items) to my Etsy store. Any opinions on whether this would work/would be a good idea?

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Birthday Girl

I love crocheted and knitted items. I knit, but I only make scarves (not very quickly, at that) and my scarves are almost always crooked. I tried my hand at crocheting once and didn't do well, but especially when I see all the wonderful crocheted items on Etsy, I consider trying to pick it up again. Thinking about it more, however, I realize I am probably better off just buying what I want from Etsy crocheters. ;)

Recently I was looking through Threadmill's shop and saw a beautiful green and white crocheted headband that had daisies on it. My daughter, who just graduated from being a Daisy Girl Scout, loves daisies because of that. Her birthday was coming up so I thought she'd really like this daisy headband to wear to her birthday party, so I bought it.

In addition to sending the headband, Threadmill sent a crocheted flower barrette. I tried to talk my birthday girl into giving the barrette to her younger sister, but she wouldn't hear of it. That barrette was a present from Threadmill and it was hers and she was going to wear it!

In this picture, she is wearing her headband and, though you can't see it very well, her crocheted flower barrette. She loved wearing it and, between wearing her headband and her new jewelry from her grandparents, she felt like a birthday princess.

I couldn't stop at just the headband. The next day I asked for a special order of four purple and green dishcloths. I'd seen them in her shop at the same time that I saw the headband, but I hesitated and another lucky buyer swooped in and bought them that evening. Threadmill made them quickly and I had them in my hands just a couple of days after I received the headband. My daughter saw them and wanted one of those too, but they are MINE, ALL MINE. Hehe. My daughter also declared them too pretty to use (I haven't yet).

If you're like me and love crocheted items and want to treat yourself, Threadmill has lots of beautiful headbands, dishcloths, washcloths, hats, and more. You can visit her shop by clicking here. As for me, I've got my eye on some more washcloths and maybe a headband for myself too!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Two new listings

I just listed these tonight!

The first is a bracelet made with goldstone, kambaba jasper, and copper. This one would look great on a man or a woman. It has a very earthly look. If you'd like to see the listing for this bracelet, click here.

The second is another necklace with a Celtic star as the pendant. It is made with stainless steel jumprings. The beads are blue aventurine (they really look purple), blue goldstone (they really look black with sparkles), and silver-tone bead caps and flower spacer beads. They are strung on cord and knotted in a way that makes the length adjustable. If you'd like to see the listing for the necklace, click here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Few New Listings

I wanted to show off a few new listings in my Etsy shop. The necklace is one made by my husband. He made the Celtic Star pendant using stainless steel jump rings and turned it into a necklace by adding red glass beads and metal spacer beads to a cord. I really like this one. He's made a few others using different beads and I've listed most of those too.

The other two are new pairs of earrings I made last night. One pair is made with blue cat's eye, white cat's eye, blue and white swirl glass cube beads and silver-plated spacer beads. The other are made using blue aventurine (looks purple), blue goldstone (looks black and sparkly), opal swarovski crystal and silver-plated spacer beads. The blue aventurine looks like it's different colors in the picture. While there are subtle differences in the coloring of each bead, it's not nearly as dramatic as it looks in the picture. It's not really noticeable at all unless you're looking closely. I think both pairs of earrings look very elegant!

In other news, related to my post about the violin, I took the plunge and trimmed my fingernails on my left hand really short so it'll be easier to play. I don't particularly keep my fingernails well-manicured anyway, but now I'll (hopefully) be trimming them regularly instead of letting them grow til they break (which is quite frequently, actually). Now, to actually play more regularly!

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I played violin from when I was in 3rd grade until my sophomore year in high school. After that, I may have picked it up once or twice briefly, but never seriously. Twenty years later, I decided I wanted to learn how to play again.

My old violin was still in my parents' basement and, while the violin had survived the time being stored down there, the bow hadn't. The strings on the violin also needed to be replaced, so I took the violin into the music shop where my parents had bought it and had them fix it up. When I picked up the violin a few days later, it had been cleaned, the pegs lubricated, and new strings put on it. I chose the cheap student strings because I wasn't sure if I'd stick with playing it and didn't want to get the higher quality strings if they were going to end up sitting unused on the violin for another 20 years.

The bow had to be sent to another shop out of town to be re-haired. I just got it back yesterday. I played yesterday evening and it definitely felt good to play again. I wish I could say it also sounded good, but I'd be a liar if I did. ;) At the same time, considering I hadn't touched a violin in 20 years, I didn't sound too shabby. My husband could recognize almost all the familiar tunes I played, after all, hehe.

I have no idea if I will ever get to the point where I could do a performance and not embarrass myself, but even if I don't, it'll be fun playing for myself.

Friday, July 17, 2009

My First Listing

When I post my listings on Etsy here, I tend to post new listings, but today I'm showing off the first thing I ever listed. I really like the colors of this bracelet, but I've been unsuccessful in getting a picture that shows the true color of the blue aventurine. It's called blue aventurine, but it's actually purple. It's not even that blue that people sometimes mistake for purple, they are a deep, beautiful purple. But, whether I use sunlight or lightbulbs, I haven't been able to get the true color to show up in my pictures.

In all honesty, I thought that this would be the first thing I sold, and that it would sell quickly. That's why I listed it first. When I showed it to my friends, as I often do with new things I've made, it got a lot more positive response than pretty much everything I'd shown them. Part of this is probably because, like me, a lot of my friends really love purple. ;)

So, I wanted to bring this one out into the spotlight again, and give it another chance. The color of the aventurine is still not right (the color of the glass beads is), but I took new pictures that I hope showcase it a little better. I've also put it back up in the "featured items" in my shop so everyone who stops by will see it first.

If you'd like to get a closer look at it, you can click here to see the listing in my Etsy shop. :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cross - Self Portrait Day 13

This was my self portrait on July 8th, or Day 13 of my self-portrait project. I've decided instead of posting them daily (which I haven't been anyway), that I'd post them occasionally, and although I might do several in a day to try to "catch up", I'm not necessarily going to post every single one of them.

Around July 8th (I can't remember if it was the same day or the day before now), I received these fun skull and crossbones appliques from Cornerstop that I'd ordered. I saw them in a promotion thread on Etsy and just had to have them. I love the contrast between skull and crossbones and a pretty flower with a rhinestone. I also like that the eye sockets are upside down hearts. I'm actually not sure what I'm going to do with them (the idea of making a scrapbook page of my girls in pirate outfits comes to mind, but first I have to convince them to dress like pirates, hehe). Another idea I had was to make little pins with them.

In addition to sending the 6 appliques I ordered, she sent an assortment of other appliques at no extra charge. Within seconds of me opening the package, my daughters descended upon the contents and grabbed the extras (ok, I did make them take turns picking, so it was a somewhat structured grabbing). I don't remember what all they got because they grabbed fast, but I do remember that there was a butterfly, a dragonfly, a teddy bear and a princess crown.

Anyway, for my self-portrait that evening, I wanted to include the cute skull and crossbones, and I decided that it'd be fun to put it on my nose and cross my eyes to "look" at it (I can't actually see much of anything when my eyes are crossed like that). As for the other appliques that my daughters claimed, I have grand plans of making small pocket purses out of the pockets from a pair of cargo pants my younger daughter wore holes through and sewing the appliques onto those. We'll see if that actually happens. ;)

If you'd like to get your own fun skull and crossbones appliques (or any of her other appliques, she has LOTS and LOTS listed), click here to visit Cornerstop's store. She also sells some cute beads, including some really great Kitty beads that I've had my eye on to make bracelets for my daughters (who love Hello Kitty). :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Moon Pendant Necklace

Not too long ago, I was looking on Etsy for a certain kind of moon pendant to use in a necklace. While I didn't find the kind I was looking for, I found these really great pendants from Beadfreaky. I ordered two sets of pendants and they were even better in person than they were in the pictures.

This necklace is one of the necklaces I made with her pendants. I added the bail and then added beads to make this beautiful corded necklace. Although they are not all moons, I do have five more of her pendants I plan on using in necklaces and selling in my Etsy shop soon. I've also already made a necklace out of one of her pendants for myself...I couldn't part with *all* of them, after all. :)

If you'd like to see what other pendants she has for sale, you can check out her Etsy shop here. And, please keep an eye on 42 Purple Elephants, where I'll be listing more necklaces using her pendants soon!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

This one may end up being mine. :)

I like every piece of jewelry I make, and many become favorites whether I decide to keep it or not. Often, if I'm working with my favorite colors, I'll deliberately make it too small for me (in the case of bracelets, this isn't hard to do, I wear a pretty large-sized bracelet) so I won't be tempted to keep it.

I didn't do any of that for this necklace, however. In fact, I even included some amethyst beads that I'd originally bought thinking I'd make something for me with them because I thought they added just the right touch. I knew I'd like this necklace because of the colors and beads, but the more I look at it, the more I like it. I'm seriously considering just keeping it for myself or finding more of the same beads to make a second one (this is what I often do if I end up too attached to something I've made).

Anyway, I did end up listing it in my Etsy shop, but if it isn't bought soon, I may take it down and keep it for myself. :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Self Portraits Days 11 and 12

I've gotten a little behind on posting these, so I guess I'll be posting two a day for a while now. On day 11 (July 6th), in the evening, I got this weird feeling of Impending Doom. I called this one "Is The Sky Falling?". As it turned out, nothing bad happened (that I'm aware of), and the feeling passed. But it's what I was feeling when I took my self-portrait that day.

On Day 12 (July 7th), my husband and I went out to dinner with some friends of mine from high school and had a blast. We went to a Chinese restaurant that had a Chinese menu and an American menu. The Chinese menu had such entries like "Unique Chicken Smell" as an appetizer and "Dried Pig's Intestine w/ Chinese Celery". The "Unique Chicken Smell" is actually tasty (that we ordered). Someone else will have to get back to you on the Intestines because no one at our table tried that. ;)

I had such a good time I forgot to take a picture while out to document what I was doing, so I ended up just snapping this quick one at my parents' house when we went there to pick up our kids (my parents were nice enough to keep the girls while my husband and I went out).

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Blue Glass and Pearls Bracelet

This beautiful bracelet was made by my husband. It features blue glass "chunks", freshwater pearls and silver metal egg-shaped beads. I think it is very elegant! I also listed a pair of earrings that match this bracelet, or would look stunning all on their own.

If you'd like to see this bracelet, you can click here and, while you're there, be sure to check out the earrings that match and the rose quartz and blue glass bracelet that I also listed today! :)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Purple Swarovski Crystal Earrings

I just listed these beautifully elegant earrings. They are made with purple Swarovski crystal and sliver-plated beads, along with silver-color beadcaps. I have another pair just like it, except using green Swarovski crystal that I just listed as well.

If you'd like to check these out, you can click here. While there, be sure to check out the green ones too! :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A New Bracelet!

I just listed this beautiful bracelet to my Etsy shop! It's made of goldstone, blue aventurine (though it looks purple, not blue) and copper. Goldstone is one of my favorites to work with because of how it sparkles!

If you'd like to take a look at the full listing, you can view it here. :)

My Newest Listing!

This is my newest listing! This bracelet is made using hematite chips, blue aventurine (but it looks purple) and copper beads. I really like these colors together and think this would be a fun and funky bracelet to wear for a night out on the town or a girls' night out.

If you'd like to see more details about this bracelet, you can view the listing here. :)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Self Portraits Days 9 and 10

These are my self portraits for Days 9 and 10 of my self-portrait project. On Day 9, the 4th of July, my husband and I got new cell phones. He'd been wanting a new one for a while and mine was finally starting to give up the ghost. It would often not turn on right away when I'd go to make a call, and then it would take a while for it to respond, so it was past time for me to replace it. We both got new Blackberry phones. Not the newest one that is similar to an iPhone, but new enough. I took a self-portrait earlier in the evening and made it my phone wallpaper and used that to take my self-portrait that night, so it's kind of a "two-for" self-portrait. Later, I took a picture of my husband and that picture is my current background on my phone because I realized I'd rather stare at his face than mine. ;)

Day 10, the 5th of July, I called "Extreme Close-Up". Basically, around 11pm or so I realized I hadn't taken a self-portrait, so that was my "gotta come up with something fast!" photo. There's really not much more to say about that one, other than I wish my nose wasn't quite so prominent in that one. ;)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Self-Portraits - Days 7 and 8

These are my Day 7 and Day 8 self-portraits. On Day 7, I was feeling uninspired. I tried taking some profile shots, but I didn't really like any of them. I finally decided I liked this one, except it was a little blurry. So I made it purple to try to cover that up. ;)

Day 8 (July 3rd) we spent on the road driving several hours to visit my husband's grandparents. We spent the day on their farm where the girls got to "drive" the tractor, go cane pole fishing, explore the woods, and just run around and play. It was a good but busy day. Not as hot as you'd expect in July, but it still got warm when standing out in the sun.

I took the picture on the way home. If I remember correctly, I took it shortly before I fell asleep in the car for about half an hour. ;)

Dice Earrings and a Purple Elephant

I recently listed these three pairs of dice earrings at my Etsy store. I have bracelets and a necklace that coordinate with these also listed. :)

Also, although you can't see all of her, these pictures feature a new addition. She's a crocheted purple elephant that a friend made for me to use with my shop. :) I thought her ears would be perfect for displaying new earring listings. I still need to work on the angle, lighting, and background, but I'm hoping she'll work out well in her role as mascot and model, hehe.

Also, remeber, this is the LAST DAY for for my FREE SHIPPING special! All orders from the US or Canada of $15 or more receive free shipping! Please visit my Etsy store for more information. :)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Me and My Daughters--365 Self Portraits Days 5-6

The first one is of me and my older daughter crossing our eyes. Most moms tell their kids not to do that. As for me, well, I taught her how to do that. ;)

The second one is of me and my younger daughter. At church on Wednesday night, the girls played dress-up and in addition to taking pictures of the girls alone, I decided to take a picture of my younger daughter with me in my self-portrait for that day. :)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Chainmail Cuff

My husband made this really great chainmail cuff and I just listed it in my Etsy store. The rings are 16 gauge stainless steel, so this is a very sturdy piece. It can be worn by a man or a woman.

If you'd like to see the full listing, including more pictures, you can click here.


Well, so much for daily. ;) With the two other posts I did yesterday, I thought having a third might be a little much. So now, here are two more self-portraits:

This first one I took on a day when we were out and it was really hot..at least it felt that way. It was in the 80s, so relatively speaking, that wasn't so hot. However, if I was feeling it was too hot, I know I'm really in for it, especially since last year we had about a month and a half of days over 100 degrees. Talk about hot!

The second one is just a simple "head shot". A photo from my 365 photos the last time I did this was chosen to be in a book. The book is going to be published at the end of the year and they wanted a head shot of all the contributors, if possible. So, that's what this is for. :)

I'm looking forward to posting the next two tomorrow as they feature my daughters!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


4th of July SALE! From now until midnight on July 5th, all orders from the United States or Canada totaling $15 or more receive FREE SHIPPING! Orders of $15 or more anywhere else get 50% off shipping!

(I'll refund applicable shipping costs through Paypal as soon as possible after I receive payment)

Every order that includes jewelry will have the jewelry packaged in a white gift box with cotton padding!


I Won Two Contests!

I never win contests, but this must be my lucky week because I've won TWO contests in a row! Maybe I should go buy a lottery ticket. ;)

The first one was run by KuteKlipboardsbyAmy on Etsy. She was running a contest yesterday evening in the forums where the 100th, 200th, and 300th posts would win a set of 5 matchbook notebooks. I missed by one post on the 100th post, but luck was on my side and I won on the 200th post!

I picked a set of five matchbook notepads that had Mickey Mouse on them because I thought they'd be perfect gifts for my 2 daughters, 2 nieces, and one nephew (amazing that it was just the right amount!). They would also be great for carrying in your purse or pocket to write a quick note to yourself when out. I really like these Zebra Matchbook Notepads which are just like the Mickey Mouse ones I won. Also, this Little Ladybug Notebook/Prayer Book/Journal is absolutely adorable!

Secondly, TheEtsian here on blogspot ran a contest this week from her blog to win one of several very beautiful painted flower pots, made by LePinkChandelier on Etsy.

And, because I won, TheEtsian is featuring me on today's blog post! Go check it out here, Wednesday Winner, and stick around to read more if you want. :)

Also, please be sure to visit LePinkChandelier's shop as well. In addition to beautifully painted flower pots, she also has many other items, including many "upcycled" items (I really like these Vintage Atlas Map Envelopes and this beautiful Upcycled Gift Tin).

Also, TheEtsian's shop on Etsy can be found HERE. She sells beautiful cards, tags and more! I really like these flowery gift tags and this beautiful birthday card.

Please go and visit these wonderful shops and thank you to all of them for running the contests! Now, I'm off to go get that lottery ticket.... ;)
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