Sunday, September 28, 2008

A. C. Moore Event

I had a fun weekend in Florida, visiting the new A. C. Moore store in Cape Coral. I really enjoyed meeting fellow jewelry-making enthusiasts, especially Laura and the other A.C. Moore staffers. I signed a few books, helped a few folks perfect their wrapped loops, and spent a relaxing afternoon making jewelry.

Before the book signing, I escaped for a walk along the Ft. Meyers beach. I forgot how beautiful the sand is (it’s been about 10 years since I visited the Gulf Coast). I was pleased to see many of the shells I remember from my childhood – cat’s paws, cockle shells, scallops, mussels, and even broken bits of sand dollars and sea urchins. I know the shelling is not the same as it once was, but it wasn’t as sparse as I expected. I couldn't help but stoop and collect a precious few.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


I love numbers. I'm always looking at licence plates and transposing numbers to find my birthday, or my friends' and family's birthdays. I have a lucky number (3). And, I am always finding my birthday numbers in the oddest places. For example, when I happen to glance at the clock, more often than not it reads 9:25. Now, the realist in my life tells me that I must look at the clock at least 12 times a day, but I only remember the two times it reads 9:25. My daughter, who is now in Algebra 3 should be able to calculate the exact probability of me noticing the time at precisely 9:25 (I hope she can; that's what today's test is on). But for the romantic in me, I'm sticking with the coincidence of bumping into "my numbers" in the oddest places. For example, for years I loved the fact that most of my favorite jewelry came with my custom numbers on the back: 925. But now that I'm older and wiser (and know a lot more about how jewelry is made) I know that those numbers designate Sterling Silver. To earn the name sterling, the silver content of the metal must be 92.5% pure. Why isn't it 100%? It would be much too soft. So, other metals like copper are combined with the silver to increase hardness. If you're ever curious about the quality of your silver pieces, just check the back. And, happy birthday to me!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Mostly Metals Book Signing and Demo

I'll be in Cape Coral Florida on Sat. September 27 to do a Mostly Metals book signing at the Grand Opening of the new A. C. Moore store. I'll also demo a project from the book. I ordered some beads from A.C. Moore online, since we don't have a store in Wisconsin. Here's what I'll be using for the demo:

I'm going to make a version of the cluster bracelet pictured on the cover.

Here are some close up shots of the beads.
I really like the colors in the Czech glass assortment, and I love the organic look of the clasps, word charms, and tags. I had to order several of the clasps because I couldn't make up my mind!
A. C. Moore Store Grand Opening

1811 NE Pine Island Road

Cape Coral, Florida

Sat. September 27 from 1 pm - 3 pm.

If you live in the area, please come by to say hello!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Altered You Book Review

Check out this book review by Jean Yates. You'll have to scroll down, but enjoy her great pictures along the way. I love the way Jean found adult inspiration from this teen book -- and you can too! Don't forget about my virtual book signing. Let me know if you buy either of my books, and I'll send you a custom book plate.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

More Decorating Commentary

A few days ago I posted about planting at least a few flowers that coordinate with your interior colors so you'll have plenty of fresh flowers for your summer arrangements. My friend Lisa reminded me that it's equally important to plant coordinating flowers and shrubs within the view you have from various rooms. Again, it may seem like I'm stating the obvious, but it can make a huge difference. We're lucky to look out on trees from our family and living rooms. In the family room, I have my birdhouse collection sitting on the window sill that looks out to the bird feeders ... in the living room I've been using the evergreens in the view as my accent color, and will eventually paint the walls a soft green.

My friend Karen brilliantly executed this philosophy with a house she staged for selling. With the furniture moved out, the views dominate each room. She did a fabulous job with new paint colors in all the rooms to bring the outside colors in.

I guess this has been on my mind a lot, since I know the long, bleak Wisconsin winter is just around the corner. Hopefully we'll be working on the living room, so I'm looking at colors now, but will also look at them against the winter scape.

PS Do you watch Top Design? Wednesday is my Bravo night!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Rings & Things Sale

The last time I went to the Rings & Things trunk show, I was shopping for my book Mostly Metals. It took great self control to walk past the tables draped with gemstones and pearls, and limit my shopping to the chain, wire, and silver and gold beads in the back of the room. This year, I was happy to indulge in the rest of the show! Here’s a peek:
First the pearls, from left to right. 5mm potato, 7x10mm rice, 8-9mm round, 6mm rice, 8mm rondell, 3mm Mother of Pearl, and cream and champagne keishi. This will really fill in my depleted stash!

Then, I bought some fun stuff: 16 mm red shell pearls, like the one’s I used for Nicki’s earrings, 14mm lava rocks, 14mm carved new jade, more lava rocks in 6mm, 8mm lizardite (?! Not a gemstone that makes the regular list, but I loved the green laced with black), and 8x10mm black stone.

Here's a close up of the carved new jade:

Finally, my splurge of the day was a strand of faceted slab-cut Peruvian opals. I also stocked up on some findings, two spools of suede cord for Meredith, and some funky pendants for her to experiment with. Check out their web site for a schedule of their tour – they may be coming to your city, soon. If not, go ahead and look through the online listing. I’ve always had a great experience with ordering from Rings & Things.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

T is for Thursday

Today, I bring you the letter T. Yesterday, I went to the Rings & Things trunk show and got lots of goodies. I managed to stay within budget (well, $7 over). I'll post pictures of my new stash tomorrow. For now, Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Home Decor Duh

I may be stating the obvious, but plant flowers outside that match or coordinate with your interior colors. I have been having a great time with cut flowers this summer, because I have annuals and perennials that look great with the inside of my house (makes me feel less guilty about the weedy mess they are growing in!)

Now, some people take it a little to far and select pets to go with their furniture (we have been accused of that more than once). For the record, our dog was rescued and we chose him because he matched us, not our decor.

My other stating-the-obvious gardening tip is shop now for discount perennials. You have good planting weather through at least October, and you can save more than 50% of the in-season retail price. The way I look at it, the risk is worth the potential gain, especially if your taste exceeds your budget, the way mine always seems to do.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Don't let the turkeys get you down

If you're having one of those days when you're not in sync with the universe, or maybe the universe isn't in sync with you, just remember to hold your own, keep moving forward, and don't worry too much about the other people. Turkeys are, after all, quite silly.

So, does anyone know why the turkeys crossed the road? get to the other side, of course!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The alphabet game

My mom and I started this game last Christmas, after being inspired by work in a local gallery. The rules are easy. Find a letter within an everyday item. Snap a photo. It's OK to crop or rotate, but no other photoshop work can be done.

I know I should always have my camera with me, but I don't, so I usually just play the game without getting the shot.

I can tell you that "o" is really easy to find. So far I have about 8 letters, but not enough to spell much.

I'll post some letters every now and then as my collection grows.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Back in the swing of things?

We've got two days of school under our belts, but we haven't mastered the routine. I'm swimming in forms and paperwork and the nagging feeling that I'm behind already! I read recently on Heather Baily's blog that childhood is long days and short years. I couldn't agree more!
The good news is that I found the camera battery charger, so I can post a picture or two from our end-of-the-summer trip to Chicago, which already feels like it was eons ago. Meredith had the camera for the first four hours or so until the battery died. The rest of the time we snapped camera phone shots and just tried to live in the moment. Here's one from Millennium park. We are to the left of the white tent. Meredith is taking the picture, Haley is in the middle, and I am on the right providing some useless art direction.