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Thursday, December 31, 2009

goodbye to the end of a wonderful year

2009 has been a year full of firsts, and more than ever a reason to truly "believe" in what I have dreams of doing in the coming New Year.
As I prepare for 2010,
I do "believe" I can see the light(s). Bright lights have always called my name.
They twinkle and flicker with such an alluring glow.
As I browse through the hundreds (and hundreds) of pictures I've taken in 2009, I see what a magical road I've traveled this past year of my life.
I see many captured moments of joy. Little capsules of what life is all about. People. Places. Not things.
I have come to understand what is really important.

"cat tales"

The cat's finally out of the bag, so to speak, on the Secret Santa gift I mailed to my SS recipient, Tami Roth, just before Christmas. I was so excited to get my package in the mail, only a couple photos showed up in my camera! Tami adores cats, so I decided to use one of the hand-carved bone cat faces I've had in my stash for some time (per Molly we had to use supplies we had on hand), in Tami's gift. I added a brass filigree focal piece bought from Brass Bouquet, crystal quartz nuggets and a single large crystal quartz drop, Swarovski crystal rondells, mother of pearl spacer beads and two types of vintage raw brass chain.

I also included a pair of earrings in her box.

I especially like a new vintage inspired bead I designed and used for the first time in Tami's necklace and earrings. I believe I've had these delicate mother of pearl spacer beads for quite awhile. They came alive sandwiched around an oxidized swarovksi crystal rondell.

I am on holiday and have been since Christmas Day! I have had a full week of doing absolutely not much! It is a time I especially look forward to each year. A time to re-fuel and meditate on the intentions of the coming year!

I will be back visiting each of you when I return. But, until then, please know I cherish each and every comment you leave. I truly enjoy hearing what you have to say, and love visiting your blogs when I can. Your friendships mean alot to me.

Take care and have a safe and happy New Year!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

the end is only the beginning

Isn't this beautiful?
Thus begins a Christmas story.

A very talented friend, Molly Alexander, contacted me several months ago, asking if I would like to participate in a Secret Santa Jewelry Swap! I said "yes"! Turned out Molly and ten other very talented ladies also decided to participate. See the list on Molly's post here.
We had until December 15th to get our secret piece in the mail, then post about it once it was received.
So, on December 15th (or soon thereafter), I started keeping watch outside my window.
I even kept an eye towards the heavens. Never know, something could fall from the sky!
But alas, a lovely white package came via USPS.

I love the sound of the big brown truck stopping in front of our house. The brakes squealing as it roars to a quick stop. In just a few moments I hear the ring of the doorbell, letting me know there's a fellow standing at our front door holding a package.
Oh, that's right...that is UPS. Not USPS. Sorry, I got sidetracked.
Well, anyway, I received my Secret Santa gift in the mail from the United States Post Office last Friday!
What a beautiful work of art!
My art sister, Riki Schumacher, sent me the most gorgeous and thoughtful gift. She totally designed an etched metal & vintage rhinestone encrusted picture frame that holds a picture taken this last April while we (three sistas, Riki, Diana, and I) were at a jewelry retreat together with Stephanie Lee. I cannot begin to tell you all the thought and preparation Riki put into my gift.
See the back? The detail of the etching, and the delicately soldered hing that keeps it standing upright so perfectly on my work desk. See how she used tiny screws to hold the front piece she methodically cut out with her jeweler's saw, to the back?
Not only that, the package was just as beautiful. My little frame was wrapped in bright white tissue paper, and tied with various strands of yarn. Riki even tucked in a tiny twig and bird feather. And, a dove shaped gift tag, which now (will always) hangs on my Christmas tree. So fitting from my far away art sister who dearly loves nature.

Thank you sweet Riki for blessing my soul with this gift.
You are the best!
*the end*

Thursday, December 10, 2009

December 4....a day to remember

Last Friday we had snow! Yes, we did, and a lot fell in downtown Houston! Quite a surprise, as we rarely see the white stuff this far south. But, the timing was just right, and yes indeed, we saw enough to get our hearts racing.
My daughter and I had been making plans for weeks. I was to leave for San Antonio right after work, as December 4th is the day my daughter was born 34 (fast moving) years ago! Instead I left early Saturday morning. No problem.
There was ice (a beautiful glistening result of the melted snow), but not enough to stop me from canceling our weekend plans. You see, for the last three years we have gone to the King William District Christmas Home Tour. The homes in this historic part of San Antonio are just amazing. But this year it had been canceled.
With a little google help, we found another in nearby New Braunfels.
We were blessed with the most amazing cold, sunny day. Perfect Christmas weather. It was simply gorgeous. We bundled up, took our little green map, and visited 5 homes decorated in Christmas finery.
No pictures (please) made my camera go quickly back into my purse, but since this was a driving tour, we had several opportunities to stop and take in what this great German town had to offer.
We don't really have four distinct seasons here in Texas.
But, maybe just maybe, that will be changing. Just a little. Well, maybe just this year!
On Monday I had a small suitcase sale at my daughter's office.
A few pieces came home with me, and would really fit nicely in Santa's bag or perhaps in a stocking above the fireplace?

It will come wrapped and tied with a beautiful Christmas bow.

Crystal Princess
Each of the princess necklaces I design have different components. This latest creation has oxidized sterling silver & Swarovski crystal rondells, faceted crystal quartz nuggets, brass filigree beads from Brass Bouquet, and vintage brass bar chain I brought home from California in a tiny fuchsia colored bag.
The vintage leaded glass chandelier crystal was found in Warrenton.
Ice Roses
These are some of my favorites, and one pair actually stayed in San Antonio. Thank you Lori! The faceted crystal quartz drops pair beautifully with the brass roses.

Czech Swings
The delicate tulip swings on the left have dangles taken from vintage clip earrings that were covered in a cascade of crystals and tiny Swarovski crystals rondells.
I love the aged patina of the brass trimmed rondells. $34
The tulip swings on the right have oxidized bronze wire, tiny brass spacers, and delicate
Vintaj brass dangles. $32

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

{Echo} Week 3 - Surprise

Once again Lani and I have surprised ourselves with the Echo prompt from Chrysti and Susan. We are all so busy this time of year, but if you have a chance go take a peek to see their interpretation.
Chrysti's made me cry (my heart is aching for you) alot.
Lani tells me her picture is a combo of shots. Looking through an antique glass bottle (which she loves to do), added to one taken at a puppet making workshop. Very nice. Love this technique.
My shot was taken of a South Texas wildflower, with an added layer of burned texture from les brumes. The surprise for me was being able to catch this little bee in stop action.
They can be so flighty you know!