Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Design This - A Green Necklace

One day I wore a pair of earrings that included a gold and a green czech glass bead that caught the attention of a friend of mine. After talking with her for a while, I found out what caught her eye was the green in the bead and that she was interested in getting a necklace that included one or more green beads and was more of a pendant and chain style than being a totally beaded necklace.

I happened to have a variety of green or partially green beads. I pulled together all that I had and showed them to my friend. She picked out a couple of shapes of a green and white gemstone bead and liked my light green jade beads as well. Based on the shapes and colors of beads that she picked, I mocked up a "Y" style necklace using antiqued brass tone findings that I thought complemented the two bead colors. It used more beads than a pure pendant necklace but still maintained the lighter feel of one. (The first photo shows the components I used in the necklace mock up.)

My friend loved the vintage feel of the design so I completed the construction of the necklace, except for the length. Since she had been unsure how long she wanted the necklace to be, I let her hold it up in front of a mirror and adjust it until she liked the length. After adding the clasp to make the finished necklace match that length, I delivered it to my happy customer. After wearing it for a while and receiving many compliments, she decided that she would prefer to have the necklace shortened a little bit. I took care of this for her and it was the perfect accessory for the dress that she had in mind to pair it with when she started the custom order process.

If you have an outfit that you are looking for just the right jewelry to compliment it, contact me to see if I have the supplies to make it happen for you.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Summer Color - Hummingbird Bush

Native south and west of the DFW area all the way to northern Mexico, Hummingbird Bush has adapted well in my garden. Or rather my current plant has adapted well. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that the first place I planted one didn't have perfect drainage.

One winter it was especially wet and cold. The next spring I was about to rip out my sad, dead looking hummingbird bush when I found a little tiny sprout coming up at the base of one part of the trunk. It re-established a shrub and I was left to wonder if the wet or the cold or the combination caused the almost complete demise of a healthy hummingbird bush. I had my answer after the next soggy spell that we had when my shrub "gave up the ghost".

What I learned from my first plant and my current one is that hummingbird bushes do not tolerate "wet feet". You can kill them, blackfoot daisies and some of the other wonderful drought tolerant plants recommended for North Central Texas by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center by letting their roots sit in wet soil for too long. (Note: the plant list on the link above has plants for a variety of circumstances, some more drought tolerant than others.) Here in my zone 8a, North Texas garden I did have some dieback on the tips of some of the branches of my current shrub this past, harsher than normal, winter. However now that the heat of summer has arrived it is fully leafed out and beginning to bloom.

If you are looking for something that will bloom for you during hot, dry weather, this small deciduous shrub may be just what you are looking for. It doesn't get started blooming until the heat of summer gets cranked up. It needs at least a half day of direct sunlight to bloom well. Don't put it somewhere that you water often or where it has poor drainage. My current shrub is planted about half way up the back of my waterfall's berm and does not receive supplemental watering now that it is established.

Several plants may have the common name "Hummingbird Bush", so you should also know this plant is known as "Flame Acanthus" or Anisacanthus quadrifidus.

In addition to being very drought tolerant, Hummingbird bush lives up to its name and attracts and provides nectar for hummingbirds. If this sounds like the plant for you, give it a try.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Thanks for the Treasuries - June 2014

Two Etsians let me know that they had featured some of my items in treasuries during June. Three June Etsy treasuries, that treasury makers let me know about, included one of my creations. One item was featured in two different treasuries. You can see a collage below of my items from EDCCollective that were featured during June. (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 a link to the Etsy sellers that let me know they had featured some of my items, as well as an item from their shop that I like.

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

Girlie Gals offers you sparkle and shine, in the form of handmade jewelry, at affordable prices.

This shop owner handcrafts her rag dolls, stuffed animals and mosaics with love & great care!