Friday, December 31, 2010

Design This – Statement Earrings

While I have had the pleasure of creating many custom pieces for other people, sometimes it comes in handy to be able to whip up something for myself. A few months ago, I found myself in need of some statement earrings to go with an outfit that I wanted to wear.

I was going to be emceeing a charity wine tasting and silent auction. A few days before the event, I went through my closet to find a suitable outfit. I decided on a short sleeved black blouse adorned with sequins and beads worn over a velvet textured maroon long sleeved shirt. Now I needed to pick accessories. The folds of material in the neckline of the maroon shirt precluded wearing a necklace and I thought a bracelet would pretty much get lost under the long sleeved shirt, so I needed to see what earrings I had to work with. While I had some simple silver and/or pearl earrings that would have worked, they were more subtle than I wanted, since the earrings would be the major addition to this outfit.

So I grabbed the beaded blouse and headed to my supply station. My goal was to create a pair of lightweight clip earrings that had sparkle, movement and picked up the colors from my blouse. I pulled out a pair of silver plated, hinged, screw back clip earrings, all of my crystal and Czech glass beads that picked up at least one color from my blouse and some sterling silver chain. I played around with several combinations and finally settled on the beads and chain that I wanted to use. I made up four short crystal sections using silver headpins for each earring. I suspended each of these sections from different lengths of sterling silver chain. I then attached the chains
to the loop of each ear clip.

These earrings are long enough and have enough sparkle that they don’t get lost, but rather are the statement earrings that I was trying for. They are wonderfully lightweight and their sparkle and movement give them a lot of life as I move.

If you ever find yourself in a similar situation and would like something designed especially for you, please contact me to see if I have the materials needed and enough time to design something to fill your needs.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fellow Etsian Sightings - CorkyCrafts

Ok, I did it again this year. I bought another Christmas tree ornament from a fellow Etsy artisan. Even though I realized that it might be a challenge to add any more to my ornament collection and still get them all on the tree, this little pony was just too cute to pass up.

Ponies, Santas, reindeer and other ornaments are handcrafted from wine corks. Ornaments are not the only thing that you will find in this talented Etsian’s shop however. You will also find great ideas for hostess gifts, other holiday decorations and home d├ęcor. Wine cork wreaths are a specialty. CorkyCrafts is the perfect place to browse for a unique gift for any wine enthusiast. Although, you don’t have to be a wine lover to appreciate the wonderful cork and other handcrafted items found in this shop.

I hope this wee bit of my holiday decorations that I have shared has brought you a spot of holiday cheer. May the rest of your holidays be merry and have a very happy New Year.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

No More Green Tomatoes

In an earlier post I described what I do when I’m faced with a blue norther threatening to turn my still unripe tomatoes into tomatocicles. And as promised, I’m back to share with you the photos of the small green slicer, shown in my previous post, that I was letting ripen on my kitchen counter.

Three weeks later, on December 8, I decided that the small slicer, that I had picked on November 17 for this green tomato ripening test, looked ready to be sampled. I took a photo just before and after slicing it. You can see that it was a nice even red inside and out and was still nice and plump. My two guys and I tasted the tomato and the verdict was that it had a nice tomato flavor. The flesh was not dry or mealy. If we hadn’t polished it off sampling it, it would have been perfect on a salad or sandwich.

I picked my green cherry tomatoes and remaining small slicers on Thanksgiving as our first predicted freeze bore down on us. They have been ripening nicely in my kitchen too. Last night, December 15, we enjoyed a fresh salsa made from most of what remained from that harvest along with store bought tomatillos, garlic and cilantro.

So remember next year that your unripe tomatoes don’t have to turn to mush on the vine or be turned into fried green tomatoes if the first freeze of the year threatens them before they are ready to be picked. Go ahead and pick them all, leave them in a colander out of direct heat and light and use them as they ripen, just as if they were ripening on the vine.

See a complete list of my gardening tips at my garden coach profile.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thanks for the Treasuries - November 2010

Eight different Etsians featured one or more of my items in a treasury during November. Twelve November treasuries included one of my items. You can see a collage below of my items from EDCCollective and EclecticSkeptic that were featured during November. (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 different Etsians that featured at least one of my items, as well as an item from their shop or profile that I like.

Enjoy window shopping and I encourage you to click on the shop links of anything that pleases your eye.

Lovely fine art, original handknits and jewellery from Down Under.

Original fantasy art as sculpture, paintings, greeting cards, jewelry and prints.

Wine-related products make the perfect gifts! If you are a wine connoisseur who happens to appreciate hand made items, look no further.

This shop has the most amazing Victorian revival and romantic retro beadwoven jewelry with gemstones, pearls and more.

The prints and note cards in this shop are altered photos that resemble fine art paintings much more than the photographs they began as.

Hand painted keepsakes including jewelry and memory boxes, glassware, votive candle holders and more can be found here.

This wonderful Etsian supports the artists on Etsy by creating lovely treasuries.

Handmade floral note cards, wedding invitations, bridesmaid thank you cards, paper magnolias and gift tags can be found in this shop.