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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

goodbye 2008

I pray you are having a wonderful new year's eve.
I will be back soon~

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

my gift to you

While uploading some of my Christmas gift pictures, I thought I'd have a little picnik fun. I'd like to share it with you! Begin by uploading a picture. Hit the create tab, then click on effects, then scroll down to black & white. Once you click on the black & white tab (your entire picture wil turn black & white), another little window will pop up. You will see effect and original tabs in the box. Click on original, as this is the way you will bring the original color back into the picture, object or objects. You can change the brush size, if you have alot of painting to do. Or, keep it small if you have tiny areas you want to add the original color back onto. Setting the brush hardness also helps to spead up re-coloring large areas. Do not leave it on 0% or you won't be able to change a thing~
"jennifer's dance"
Or, there is another way. Once you hit the black and white tab, check the reverse box. Then, click the original tab and you can take away the color, making whatever you paint black and white. It is fun, and can become quite addictive. This is what I did with Lisa' s charm below as an example~

I checked the reverse box, and painted part of the charm, one of the angel wings, and some of the background in the picture behind it, to make it black and white. I changed the size of the brush as I went~as to not go over the lines.

These charms, used to make necklaces, were made with alot of love. This is the reason I give. This is my "love filled" gift to you.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

the calm before the cold

My jade plant has been trying to bloom for the last couple of weeks. I remember when I first began seeing the blooms appear. I didn't even know Jade plants bloomed, as I had never, ever seen it! But, just this afternoon, the first few blooms began to show a sign of a flower!
Right now it is 65 degrees, but it has been in the high 70's all day! Tomorrow the highs will be in the 40's! We are expecting a really cold blast of Artic air after midnight. The weather can be so strange, living 83 miles from the Gulf Coast. One minute we are burning up, and the next we are freezing.
I do want some cold weather for Christmas. Just not freezing rain, Lord.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

snow is falling

Last week we had snow in Houston, Texas. It fell in downtown Houston, and north and east of the city. I work downtown, and live West. I missed it completely. I got off work, and then it snowed! I would have loved to see it. The last time I saw it, was Christmas Eve 2004~it was magical! Our children built a small snowman on top of my Expedition. The next year I used a picture of it in our Christmas cards. We don't get snow this far south very often, so when it falls here it is monumental! It was such a big deal that a book was published called The South Texas Christmas Miracle 2004. And, then, More Snow ~ The South Texas Christmas Miracle was published. Both are beautiful coffee-table books, full of the most gorgeous snow scenes in Texas! I now see they are considering publishing a 5th Anniversay Edition in 2009. As you can see, we are really excited by snow!
Since, I missed it, I added it to my blog...thanks to Daryl, and her post on how to get it!
While online, I also pulled up this
website~How to get snow in Texas. How much fun is that? Can you imagine paying for it? As much as I love it, I won't pay for it. But, I do love snow. Can you tell?
I bought the above little bird, made by JoAnne the fabulous artist in Bellville, who filled Nothing Ordinary Antiques & Oddities with the most beautiful flock of birds! He is now perched in my Christmas tree.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

breath it in

While working on Christmas gifts this morning, I printed and slipped these into the front opening of family gift cards. What a clever idea for our bank to include a blank card and envelope to put the gift card inside.
This picture, taken two weeks ago at Nothing Ordinary made me smile.
I pray you are having a smile filled day. One full of family, laughter, peace, joy and love.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

its a wrap

Sara has finished my blog! It was so much fun. She is wonderful to work with, and has great talent. Besides her design business you must look at her beautiful photos~
Thanks Sara! It was a joy. And, I am very pleased.
This photo was taken last week at Nothing Ordinary Antiques & Oddities. Aren't these birds beautiful? An artist at the shop, Joanne, makes these and many, many more varities. They are all over the store....just waiting for your tree, or your favorite space on the wall. They are gorgeous.
If you judge people, you have no time to love them. Mother Teresa

Monday, December 08, 2008

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


This week's assignment for Shades of Inspiration, was bling! Oh, this was fun, and it wasn't hard to design a piece using some great vintage rhinestone finds. The focal piece is an art deco rhinestone shoe clip, found at Nothing Ordinary Antiques & Oddities last Sunday. I added wonderful vintage rhinestone teardrops. They dangle playfully from Czech fire-polished glass beads, swarovski crystals rondells, and faceted lemon quartz. Wow, I love these old rhinestones. They really catch alot of light!
I will leave this and several other pieces at Nothing Ordinary, in anticipation of Nancy's 3rd Annual Customer Appreciation Holiday Party, which will be held this Friday, December 5th, from 5-9 pm. I really love this antique shop. It is packed full of beautiful antiques and lots of Christmas goodies. Tomorrow I will take lots of photos (for a project) and maybe shop (just a little). Then, I am off to San Antonio to see my dh. It is her birthday. We will have so much fun together. I am so excited!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Thanksgiving Table

My daughter made these delicious Stuffed Dates to munch on before dinner on Thursday. We traveled to San Antonio, then on to south Texas to hunt. My husband helped her prepare her very first Thanksgiving Dinner, and we all had the best time! What a blessing to be able to enjoy cooking together as a family.
Above photo was uploaded for this week's theme, The Thanksgiving Table, Shades of Inspiration.
(Melanie's Stuffed Dates~Medjool Dates, Raw Almonds, Fromage Blanc)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


A word we should keep in our hearts and share often~thankfulness~ seems to be forgotten by most of the world. Each and every day is a gift from God, and not to be taken lightly. I am so thankful for so many things, it is hard to type them down. First, I am thankful that I was saved by the love of Jesus Christ. I am thankful for a wonderful loving husband. I am blessed by a loving family, children & friends. I still have my mother in this world to love, and who loves me. My husband and I are about to be given a wonderful gift~a grandson, in February! I live in a comfortable home in a nice town. I have a wonderful job, and great transportation. I am part of a loving church family. I have been given a desire for creating art. And, I have been given the gift of gratitude. (Realizing all this could be gone in a blink of an eye makes me even more grateful). What more is there? I cannot think of a thing.......

The gift of sharing also comes to mind this morning. I believe sharing is an outward expression of an inward thankfulness. It is amazing how easy it is to connect to like-minded friends in the blog world. A passion to create drives us to share each others talents and knowledge. I have made many new friends this past year, including Tammy, who I was blessed by this past week with a jewelry swap! I dearly love stars. How could I not love stars, living in the LoneSTAR state of TEXAS? When I saw these on her blog, I thought about a swap~she agreed, and look what I received in the mail! I asked only for the earrings, BUT she also sent a matching necklace! Wasn't that the most kind hearted thing? My blog friends are like that.

I will leave you with a couple of pieces I worked on this week for a new friend. Crystal Petals ~ made using some gorgeous Czech beads I bought at the quilt festival, shaped to look like petals of a flower. The dangles are Colorado Topaz colored Swarovski crystals. These earrings make me think of the most delicate flower, made to be given to someone very special.
Crystal Blossoms ~ the matching bracelet, has an added sprinkle of creamy freshwater pearls.
One more thing I am thankful for this day ~ the joy of seeing beauty in everything. For this I am most thankful.

Note: This set is now for sale, as my friend picked another pair! Bracelet and earrings are $62 (plus $2.00 shipping).

Monday, November 24, 2008


a.k.a. "Grace"
Each time I design a Crystal Princess, I find myself thinking of Grace Kelly. She was the most beautiful actress. A refined beauty both inside and out. (My favorite movie of hers was one of Alfred Hitchock's, Rear Window, with Jimmy Stewart). She became a true princess, AND it was NOT in Hollywood.
Perhaps it's the feel of the perfectly cut chandelier piece, polished smooth as silk, that brings me back to her each time. ....This is why I've enjoyed making several in the last two months. I do not duplicate, always changing it by just the smallest detail. All are different, and all are original. This will be Pam's. It was made using a larger vintage crystal chandelier piece. I am partial to this one. But then, I must say, I am partial to all of them~

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

cranberry red

"tammy's swings"

The last couple of months have been filled with designing new jewelry pieces, filling commissions, writing magazine submissions and enjoying committed jewelry shows. I have met some wonderful new friends along the way.
One of my favorite colors keeps showing up, everywhere I look, I see it. Could it be....my anticipation of Christmas, one of my favorite times of the year?
But no, it is not only in my jewelry, as it is here with me everyday in the stained glass "poppy" that hangs in my bathroom window. In the early morning light, it gives off the most beautiful glow.
I am so thankful for the many blessings I have experienced this past year. I have been blessed by some wonderful new friends. Wonderful kindred spirits found in this big blog world. And, I have been encouraged by a a new friend and designer, Cindy Forrester, and her Thanksgiving Give Away Post. You must go visit, and tell her what you are thankful for today~you just might win one of her amazing designs!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

i have been inspired

~by the beautiful Sara Duckett. I had totally forgotten reading her Q & A article published in the Autumn issue of Artful Blogging. And, now she has another featured article in the Winter issue of Artful Blogging, with her I Saw Red challenge! It was just last week that I decided to spruce up my simple blog layout; and found her, sadie olvie~le journal, via Sandra Evertson's blog. I was totally mesmerized with her photography, her story, and especially her design work. So, via several e-mails, I determined I would like to use her talents, and asked her to be a part of my journey in the blog world. So, the near future (after December 19th), will bring about a new blog look for me. I am so excited about the possabilities. In the meantime, I also joined her Flickr group, Shades of Inspiration, as I am forever stretching my wings thru my photography.
She publishes a weekly challenge, and this week it is ~ tarnished silver ~ How cool is that?
So, using a simple and rustic cream & sugar set I bought at Warrenton's antique festival last Spring, I went outside and caught a couple of shots in the evening light. I find this exercise is also helping me put together thoughts, pictures and ideas for my new blog banner and business cards. (I continue enjoy using PSE6 and picnik in the process, of course).
The only thing now is that I am having to re-think my love affair with rust.
It may just have to move over
~as tarnish may be taking its place.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I had the best time at Eagle's Trace. I have always loved people of "age". They live at a slower pace, and have seen and done most all they have wanted to see & do at this point in their life. Many were Christmas shopping for their daughters, or their granddaughters; and I was glad I was able to help. They asked my opinion, and I tried my best to be objective. Some actually shopped for themselves.
There were snacks & punch; and door prizes! Oh, if you could have seen the smiles on their faces when they won a door prize, then possibly you could begin to understand how I felt that day.
I do have to tell you about the crystal swings above.....I had not intended to take these to the sale, as I had made them for a friend's mother. She ordered a pair of chandelier earrings to match the Crystal Princess, to wear to a party she will be attending this week. She loves large earrings, and these totally fit the bill. However, I did decide to bring them along, as I could easily make another pair in time for her party, if I sold them. (Which I have, of course!)
Well, I sold the earrings to Pam, Director of Sales & Marketing.
She had a business trip this week, and fell in love with them. I received the most precious note from her, after sending her a gracious "thank you" for inviting me as a vendor to their Misteltoe Market.
Here is what she said:
I can’t wait to wear my earrings! I am traveling to Baltimore for meetings on Sunday and through the first part of the week and have been planning my wardrobe of course. It is too funny I have totally planned an entire outfit around the earrings!
I was totally humbled by her words, and so grateful for her little message. It meant the world to me, and a still small voice said even more.
Have you ever thought how just one simple act can bring about a change of acts by another? In this case, I made a very sweet (& pretty) lady very happy. She loves the earrings, and they will give her joy to wear.
I want to always have a positive affect on others. I chose it. Joy is a choice.
Just as the joy I felt helping the residents last week, passing slowly by my booth. Leisurely looking and asking questions. Making comments about the family cabinet cards I had mixed in with my jewelry.
I must say, I saw both pain and joy.
I felt alot of both that day.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Do You Remember?

"Cross my Heart" ~ (sold)
The Gem & Jewelry Show comes to Houston four times a year. I never let it pass without going, as it is my best opportunity to find unusual beads, gemstones, turquoise, pendants of all kinds~shapes and sizes. This cross was bought there.
The necklace also has turquoise nuggets, crystal quartz, Swarovski crystals and a couple of vintage chandelier pieces.
Tomorrow I have been invited to participate in the Mistletoe Market, which will be held at Eagle's Trace. I am looking forward to meeting Pam and Ashley.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I've always had them

"stars in my eyes" ~ (sold)
I have been tagged by two dear blog friends~
So now I must share six quirky facts about myself and tag six of my blog friends. Thanks alot Tammy and Diana!
Here are the official rules....1. link to the person who tagged you 2. mention the rules 3. tell six quirky, yet boring, unspectacular details about yourself 4. tag six other bloggers by linking to them 5. go to each person's blog and leave a comment that lets them know they've been tagged.
Here are the six people I am tagging (don't feel obligated or stressed if you don't want to participate or have already been there & done that or have been tagged with this fun little exercise before!)
1. When I was a child, I wanted to be an actress.
2. I love music, and it makes me happy. And, I sing~alot.
3. I love to dance, and waltzes are my favorite. But, I two-step (Texas, of course) and have been known to polka from time to time.
4. I love to do laundry. And, I never let laundry sit in the dryer. It must come out upon "hearing the buzzer", or I will start the dryer again to get it warm before I take it out.
5. Bugs do not scare me. In fact, I am the official roach killer where ever I may be, and am often called upon to do so!
6. I love to fish. In ponds, and creeks and rivers~freshwater please.
Bonus: I say love alot!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Odd Shots on Monday

Odd Shots ~ hosted by Katney each Monday morning.

When my daughter and I saw this sign at the antique festival, we had to see it. The vendor was nice enough to take one out of the freezer to show us. And, you wouldn't believe the choice of toppings-
hot chocolate syrup, Smucker's Sunday Toppings~caramel and strawberry, AND any kind of sPrINklES you can imagine.
They will put anything on a stick!

Friday, October 31, 2008

THE Quilt Festival

Sandra Evertson, yours truly and Jenny Doh
Above is a lace rosette from the WWC Booth No. 1044.
I bought some beautiful vintage trim from Virginia, who was working Jennifer Zanetti's Booth No. 1321.

I was so hoping that Sandra Evertson and Jenny Doh would be at the WWC booth on Thursday night when I finally made it to the Quilt Festival. Jenny had mentioned in one of her blog posts last week, that all the women featured in the newest Stampington & Company's Somerset Sudio Magazine, Where Women Create, would be in Houston for the International Quilt Festival. The creator of the magazine, Jo Packham, and all the wonderful artists featured in the premier issue, would be gathering together to celebrate right here in Houston! That was great news for me, so right after work, I scurried down to the George R. Brown Convention Center and did a little shopping AND meeting. I spent most of my very limited time in the Embellishments section. They had it sectioned off with a giant banner hanging overhead ~ EMBELLISHMENT. GREAT! There were so many, many booths to visit, I had to be very selective. Not much time to take pictures, AND I had to ask before I took; so here are a couple of favorite shots of what I bought on Thursday night.


footnote: I an SO happy I bought Where Women Create, as the articles inside are SO encouraging. Sandra's article~Studio Chic~ was about the small space she creates in (which I can totally relate to)! You will be so surprised with this story, as I was! Jenny Doh's fabulous article told of how her work space evolved from her kitchen table (yes, I have been there and done that too), to a closet, and then with the encourement of her family, to their dining room~which is now her official "home studio". And, another of my blog buddies, Susan Tuttle's cOLd JolTS story was great. This definately is another must read magazine.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

one more little story

Earlier this month I posted this picture before my dd and I left for the antique festival. But, it ties so well to a story I have to tell today~
Two of the last customers in my booth on Sunday were sisters. Not only were they buying Christmas gifts & gifts for themselves; they were buying for each other. Talk about fun~this was quite interesting to see one try to buy a piece of jewelry while the other one wasn't looking! It worked out in the end, but just yesterday I received an e-mail that was really neat.
Sister no. 2 had bought the angel necklace I designed, and wanted but didn't get a pair of earrings to match. She was contacting me about buying a pair. At noon she had lunch with Sister no. 1, and while talking to her about e-mailing me & asking about buying a pair of matching earrings, Sister no. 1 went out to her car and got the pair of earrings that matched. They were one of the items she had bought her sister for Christmas!
They both spent the final hour in my booth, and at one time Sister no. 2 had at least 4 necklaces on at one time. They looked beautiful on her. I said I must take a picture! But, I ran out of time, and didn't get the shot. It would have been a great one!
The Sister's necklace was made and left in Belllville at Nothing Ordinary Antiques & Oddities. I specifically made it for that shop, as I had also put the name of the town, Bellville, Texas, on the back. (I graduated from BHS, so Bellville holds alot of special memories for me). The necklace just turned out so beautiful. I must say it was hard to part with. I love how the delicate rhinestone catch dangles perfectly off the bottom charm. And, the faceted mother of pearl beads catch the light and shimmer with beauty and grace. I will be making more.
One more thing, at one point, Sister no. 1 said to me (while Sister no. 2 had all the necklaces around her neck)...."and imagine growing up with her". What I saw when she said it, was her gentle resolve and acceptance. She loved her sister, just as she was and still is.

That was just beautiful to me.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

things i learn at shows

Last weekend was my largest show of the year~the Sami Show held at the Merrill Center, in Katy. It was a very good show for me, but thinking back on it, I always come home with lessons learned. Yes, it is good to make the booth rent, but I know & have always known, it is the people I enjoy. Because I am a people person, I normally have alot of good conversation with my customers, and even with those who just choose to look. Did I learn this from my grandmother, Josie, or from her daugher, my mother, Vivian? My great grandmother, Rosa's mother Rosalia, sits in the picture above, in the black dress. I never knew her. She spoke only Czech.
I learned the previous weekend, at another sale, the reason why people did not smile in these photos. You may or may not have noticed. Elsie said, in those days it took so long to take the picture, that the subject was told not to smile, or move during the taking of the picture, as it would ruin it. I never knew that. The only reason we talked about it at all was because in another one of my photos (all family members), now used in my display, is a picture taken of my two uncles and an aunt as children. My uncle, Eldie, is the baby in the picture, and he is smiling. She commented they were never allowed to smile. I told her he smiled all his life, and because he was a baby, they probably couldn't stop him. Eldie never married, and had the best disposition of anyone in my entire family. He smiled alot. I inherited his home, which was my grandparent's, and all the pictures left inside. A box full of cabinet cards and old photos. I am eternally grateful that they landed in my possession. I scanned them for safekeeping, and will not use them forever, but for now they are my muses at shows.
I had so many wonderful compliments on my set-up. Thank you all....I felt like I was sitting in my own little corner of bliss. Was it because of all the family photos that surrounded me? The vintage suitcase to the right held a wedding picture of my grandmother, Rosa's, brother and new wife. The wedding dresses they wore were gorgeous, and the headdresses even more so.
The primitive pumpkin and witch were bought at the Warrenton Antique Festival.

A pair of stick freshwater pearl earrings sat quitely waiting to be purchased.

An iron dove sat on one of the tables, keeping watch for me.

I had the sweetest neighbor, Nona. It was her booth's lattice work that I used as a back drop behind one of my tables. It worked out beautifully, as I hung a lovely guilded mirror and a piece of my art, a collaged Frida, on it. Voila!
Nona designs and sells purses, bags and other fabric items made from vintage fabric and trim. I have bought 4 purses from her in the past 2 years. I just love them.

"The highest courage is to dare to appear to be what one is".
~John Lancaster Spalding

Monday, October 20, 2008

Odd Shots on Monday

All types of people come thru my jewelry booth at sales, but this one last weekend was one of the funniest! I couldn't resist taking a photo of this guy, all decked out for Halloween. The funniest part (to me), was how he was carried~in a doggy sling around his owner's back, just like mother's use to carry their babies. What will they think of next?
For more odd shots today, go see Katney. You will like what you see!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

free to believe

Today I received the most nicest surprise!
No, I did not win the Texas Lottery (must be because I do not play it), or get a call from Oprah asking me to design 500 pieces of my "free to believe" lariat necklace to give away to her audience on her Annual Christmas Show!
What I received was a top contender nod from a pretty wonderful author, blogger & photographer, David McMahon; who mentioned my blog in his Post of the Day (thank you David). What a blessing! And even more, I received comments from some special people I didn't even know. Thank you all for taking the time to let me know you enjoyed my Warrenton 2008~Part One post. This is the beauty of the blogworld isn't it? To get to know about so many special people thru their blog pictures and writings. One such person, is Meg Wolff, life in balance....becoming whole.
Her biography:
I just turned 50. I’ve been married for 25 years to an amazing man named Tom. Our kids are Francis and Cammie. I live in a lovely scenic little town in Maine. My real name is Margaret, but I go by Meg. I love photography and art. I've survived cancer twice, and lost a leg and a breast in the process. Although I’ve been through a lot, I'm not at all bitter. I feel passionate about sharing how I've managed to get healthy and live a full life. And I'm so grateful to be here.
Thanks for reading my blog. Please drop me an email and say hello.
I will leave you with a quote off her website.
“Perhaps we should cheer the loss of control, our failed attempt to change others, and focus only on changing ourselves.”
Joan Anderson, author of A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

warrenton rhinestones

I may have to rethink the old saying that diamonds are a girl's best friend....these vintage rhinestones were found in a booth at Warrenton, along with several other great pieces that day. The owners come twice a year, all the way from Missouri. She bought them at an estate sale. If only they could talk, I bet they have a great story to tell.

I posted this picture in another group I participate in~see it on the right sidebar. Go to Paintbox Pictures to look at more marvelous effects used by my friends there. You will love the pictures!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Odd Shots on Monday

Another shot I took at Warrenton Antique Week.
I know this grand old chair was left uncovered for the new buyer to decide on the seat cover THEY would like. But, it still caught my odd eye~
You too can participate in Odd Shots on any Monday by posting an Odd Shot and adding a comment to
Katney's current Odd Shot post.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

warrenton 2008~part one

Each Spring and Fall Melanie & I make our now annual trip to the Warrenton Antique Festival. This show has become a tradition for us, and is our two favorite highlights of the year. Where else but Texas can you walk thru fields, lined with booths, loaded with everything from stuffed grizzly bear to crystal chandeliers.

When we arrived, and stepped out of the car, we felt like two kids in a candy shop. We never know exactly where to start.
We took away more photos than purchases on this day~which is hard to believe. I snapped so many pictures, I had to tell myself to stop; as there was a photo op at every booth. I didn't want to miss a thing, but wait, I need to snap a picture here....and here. Mom, look at that old rusty bicycle tire used as a Christmas wreath. And how about the dragonflies made out of old rusty oil cans. How clever!

There was a soft breeze blowing gently thru the trees, as Melanie and I slowly wound our way thru hundreds and hundreds of booths. Old paint worn windows pulled at us as we passed, now repurposed into mini hot houses. This one came complete with a vintage tricycle and Christmas tree inside.
If nothing more, we come to this festival just to see what people have thought up next. Decorations and collections made out of things I would never have dreamed of using OR collecting.

Once more I have proof that pigs do fly.
Do you think ET could phone home on this old black beauty?

And, Charilie Brown will show up in places you least expect!
Colorful vintage locks hung from fenceposts.

Time worn pieces of lace were quickly snatched up and brought home. Especially when a mother of pearl buckle was still attached.
Hand carved statues looking as if they were taking a nap.

Signs with catchy sayings that were almost passed by, but caught at the last minute.
Plenty of nautical pieces hanging around, waiting to be brought home.

And, don't forget about the bird houses. So many colors shapes and sizes, who could possibly choose just one?

And, if you play your cards right, you may just leave with a little money left in your purse.
This old cash register reminded me of the one that sat behind the counter in Weige's Store, in New Ulm (located not far from Warrenton), when I kid.
I always wanted to push one of those big buttons, turn the crank, and hear the bell ring!
It's good to go home.