Thursday, March 27, 2014

Design This – Snowy Owl, Crystal n Pearl Jewelry Set

At a recent trade show I purchased some pretty pearls from one vendor and a fabulous collection of nature themed hand painted porcelain beads from another. At the time I didn’t know some components from each purchase were destined to become part of the same jewelry set even though both the pearls and the porcelain beads were by far my favorite finds from that show. I did know that I liked the snowy owl porcelain beads so much that I wanted to make a necklace and earring set for myself, so I bought extras of those beads. (Click on the images if you want to see a larger view.)

As I was unpacking and putting away all of my purchases I noticed that the colors in the freshwater pearls perfectly complemented the lighter colors in the snowy owl beads. This gave me the inspiration I needed to start pulling together other beads with colors that might also work into my project. From this large grouping I picked out a subset of pearls, crystal and coated glass beads that looked like they would play off each other well. Then I set about designing my necklace. After trying a few different designs, I hit on one I really liked and strung it up. Then I paired a couple of the smaller components with the small snowy owl beads to complete the matching earrings.

If any of the nature themed porcelain beads in the link above speak to you in such a way that you want to inquire about a custom piece for yourself, please contact me and I’d be happy to discuss your options.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Celebrate the Spring Equinox

It is almost officially springtime. The long awaited for Spring Equinox is almost here. (It has been a long, roller coaster of a winter this year. I can’t wait for spring to come to stay.) Spring officially arrives just before noon, March 20, 2014 in the DFW Metroplex (CDT). When I think of spring I think of returning flowers and butterflies. The Fort Worth Botanic Garden offers plenty of opportunities to see flowers and bountiful butterflies.

The grounds of the Botanic Gardens has plenty of fabulous flowers. In addition, this year the “Butterflies in the Garden” exhibit has returned. This exhibit is currently open daily from 10am to 4pm through April 6th. Many tropical butterfly species fill the conservatory. You will find them flitting through the air, perching on flowers or just hanging out on the greenery. I have included a couple of the many photos that I took during my visit last week.

If you don’t live close enough to take advantage of this wonderful exhibit, check with your local arboretum or natural history museum to see if they know if and when a similar exhibit is scheduled to come to your area. Many different opportunities may await you in your community. In addition, if you plant and create other habitat for butterflies in your garden you can enjoy your local butterfly community throughout the growing season.

So, take a moment and check out your local butterfly watching prospects. You’ll be glad you took the time to view these jewels of the air.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Gardening for Wildlife – Monarch Butterfly Update

In October of 2010 I saw a large number of monarch butterflies grace my garden and was inspired to write a blog post encouraging my readers to add a couple of plants to their gardens to support their fall migration. This past fall I saw very few monarchs and have been hearing similar reports from a variety of sources all along their migration route. It seems the monarch butterfly population is in a steep decline. I hope the monarch does not go the way of the passenger pigeon and want to encourage you to do your small part to help this amazing butterfly survive.

In addition to the plants mentioned in my 2010 blog post, milkweed is an important addition to plantings for monarchs. There are many flowers that provide nectar for adults and garden features that you can add so that the monarch has safe roosting spaces, warm spots to get them going in the mornings and water and minerals for nourishment. Gardener’s Supply Company has a recent, detailed post that will give you more specifics on what you can do to boost the survival chances of the monarch butterfly. Please check it out and add what you can in your garden to support this beautiful butterfly.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Thanks for the Treasuries - February 2014

Eight different Etsians and one Etsy team let me know that they had featured one or more of my items in a treasury during February. Eleven February Etsy treasuries, that treasury makers let me know about, included one of my creations. You can see a collage below of my items from EDCCollective and EclecticSkeptic that were featured during February. (Click on the collage to see a larger view.)

I really appreciate being featured by the treasury makers. To thank them, I have listed below (in alphabetical order) links to the 8 Etsy sellers that let me know that they featured one of my items, as well as an item from their shop that I like. You will also see information about the TexasFriendsTeam that also featured items of mine.

Enjoy window shopping and please click on the shop links of anything that catches your eye.

Find great decoupaged home decor items created by this artisan in her home studio.

This shop carries a variety of items from jewelry and accessories to photography and art to home decor.

If you or someone you know is a wine connoisseur who appreciates hand made items, check out this shop.

Girlie Gals offers you jewelry that sparkles and shines at affordable prices.

Put some fun in your life with pocket mirrors, earrings, bookmarks and Scrabble Tile necklaces.

Embroidery, fabric postcards, quilts, jewelry, baskets and more are created by Kim.

Here you will find unique & one of a kind jewelry made in the USA.

This shop specializes in original crochet patterns and creations in addition to vintage items.

Past, present and future Texans are welcome and encouraged to join this team. The only real rules of the group are to promote friendly, The TX Way, and be respectful to all who participate.