Sunday, August 31, 2008

Win a Beautiful Necklace and Earring Set!

I am sponsoring a give away for this beautiful crystal necklace and earring set on the blog listed below. Go check it out and enter for your chance to win.

Handmade showcase is a great blog with lots of interesting crafts and people. You will enjoy it.

Be sure to leave a comment stating your favorite item in my Etsy shop so your name will be entered in the contest.

Oh, I can't wait to see who the lucky winner will be!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

ACEO's in Polymer Clay

Well, after much musing, I have finally decided to list one of my polymer clay art cards on Etsy. Creating an art card from clay is a unique process. It is abstract in a way, but turns out to have a definite, identifiable subject. This is done by mixing 2 or 3 colors of clay to make a ball with swirls of the colors visible throughout. The ball is then flattened and shaped into a rectangle about the size of a baseball trading card. The next step is to examine this 'card' from all angles and both sides to see if an image becomes visible. This may take a bit of imagination. Once you are able to discern an image you will want to outline it. Any sharp tool or toothpick will do. Adding a bit of texture to the background will help bring out the lines of the image. I do this by making thin lines, poking with a needle or perhaps using the end of a small paint brush to make little craters. Just choose a texture that will bring out the lines of the image so it will stand out from the rest of the card. I also enhance the features when I can by using a needle to 'draw' hair or beard, or making small lines to show up facial features if the image is a person.
Making these is so much fun! I hope you will give it a try. Check out my rendition of 'Jarius', the Roman centurion of the Bible.

My First Tutorial

I have written a jewelry tutorial for and it is now up on their website. I invite you all to go there and try this little necklace tutorial out.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Home Sweet Home

What a great week! But, boy, is it good to be home. We started our short pilgrimage on Sunday morning after a rather busy 12 hour shift at the hospital. I was able to doze a bit in the car, so I wasn't too frazzled when we arrived at Michaels town house in Grove City near Columbus. We spent some time with Mike and Josh, then headed north to Brunswick just south of Cleveland where Amanda and Marcus have recently relocated. We found them in a very comfy 2nd floor apartment in a nice complex. Their apartment is easily twice the size of their Florida apartment. It will be perfect for them as they begin adding to the Fife numbers. We slept in the future nursery and I could already imagine my new little grandchild there.

Marcus is the worship leader for the Polaris Christian Church in Brunswick, and so we got to see where he works and had a quick tour of the church building, which is located in a former movie theater. Hopefully we will get to attend a service next time we are there. We did meet a couple of the church family though. Of course, they were very nice.

On Monday we went to Canton to see Ashley at Malone Bible College where she is a sophomore. She gave us a tour of the campus. We took her out to eat and for a bit of shopping. Then back to Brunswick.

Tuesday and Wednesday were spent just hanging out with Marcus and Amanda, eating and shopping and getting familiar with the layout of the town. I helped Amanda with some crafty wall art, we looked through her collection of baby things, and I began coming to grips with the idea of my baby having a baby. It was so different with my sons. I just sort of took their new fatherhood in stride. But with my only daughter, I find that it is a bit more emotional for me. I didn't really expect that. I wonder if this is a normal happening for mothers of daughters. I don't think I've ever heard it discussed before. Hmm.

Thursday we did a bit more shopping, ate out for lunch and just enjoyed our last few hours of visiting. At around 2pm we headed for home, making a stop again at Grove City and having a nice meal with Mike. We then went to Josh's workplace to give him a hug before we left there.

During the 5-6 hour drive home we entertained ourselves with downloaded segments of John Tesh's 'Intelligence for Life' radio show. So now we are smarted than we used to be and emotionally satisfied for the time being for having spent time with our kids who live away from here.

Now, back to the everyday grind. But with a smile and with gratitude to the Lord for richly blessing us and our children.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Heading North!

Right now I'm at work with just a few free minutes. But I am so excited! When my shift ends in the morning, we , my husband and I, are heading north to Cleveland, Ohio to visit our daughter. On the way we will stop at Columbus to see my son. I don't see them often, though we communicate a lot, so I'm really looking forward to this trip.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ah, Mary....

If you remember Mary from one of my earlier posts, you will smile at this one.

I related how Mary had to move from the senior apartment complex due to loud and obnoxious behavior when she has a bit too much to drink. So, because we love my dad and didn't want to see him work like a dog helping Mary move, several of the family pitched in to help. We helped Mary find a nice duplex in our town in a fairly quiet neighborhood. We moved her stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. We were all utterly exhausted for a week following.

Mary got all settled in in record time, and her place was absolutely beautiful. It seems that she has a knack for interior decorating. That was 2 weeks ago. This week, Mary was politely served notice of eviction by her landlord. 'sigh' It seems that she has a penchant for calling the police whenever the neighbors make any noise. Now, I don't know if the neighbors deserved that or not. I guess perhaps they could be noisy. After all, they have children. But there seems to be a pattern here with Mary.

So, today Mary found a mobile home to rent. She is going to have to part with some stuff. Lots of stuff. So here we go again. But this time we are setting limits on how much we can do for Mary. I'm just hoping that my dad, who is 80 years old, will not overdo helping her with packing, etc. He is a pretty healthy 80 year old, but I still hate to see him work to exhaustion. I'm going to be out of town for a week, and I'm a bit concerned.

For those of you who feel led to, I ask that you send up a little prayer on behalf of my dad this next week or two. He's a great guy. And send up a prayer for Mary too, if you don't mind. In spite of all the trouble, she is a sweetheart in her own way. If she can't get along in the new neighborhood, I don't know what she will do.

As for me and my husband, we are heading to Ohio to see our daughter and also pay my son a visit on the way. It's going to be a great visit and we're looking forward to it so much!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I'm a Lazy Blogger

OK, I confess. I'm am just plain lazy when it comes to blogging. It's not that I don't have anything to say. I'm full of things that I am wanting to share with the world. But sitting down to the keyboard is a challenge for me. I have so many projects and other things going on, not to mention my real job, that finding time to blog is pretty far down on the list. But I promise you, my faithful few readers, that I will try to do better. So don't despair and don't give up on me. Just give me one more chance. Please... Pretty please?

And now, back to my bead making table. And if you would like to see some of my latest polymer clay bead creations, just check out my Etsy shop.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

More Fun Than Designing....

If someone asked me what is more fun and more satisfying than creating beads or jewelry, I would have to say, 'teaching others to do the same.'

In the past couple of years I have volunteered to teach jewelry design classes to clients of our local pregnancy center and ladies from my home church. I am constantly amazed at the talent I witness pouring out of these young women! They always come up with color combinations and different beading designs than I would have ever thought of.

The desire for beautiful things was ingrained in us by our Creator God from the beginning of time. The ability to design and create is so totally a gift from Him. And that gift is given to the Christian and non-Christian alike. It is a seed planted in us by Him that is destined to grow and produce fruit ultimately for His Kingdom.

One of the most delightful things I have witnessed in my time with these young women is their desire to create and to give to those they love. While some created only for themselves, which was my main idea, others immediately saw their creations in light of a gift for someone special to them. How awesome to watch those who had so little exhibit a heart that was so big!

So, yes. I have been richly blessed to have been a part of teaching others what I know. There is great satisfaction in seeing the smile of delight on the faces of those who have created something lovely.

Monday, August 11, 2008

My Latest Bookmark

Hi! This is my most recent creation. I love this bookmark. It is crafted with genuine black onyx faceted rectangular gemstones, swarovski clear crystals and sterling and bali silver. I just think this bookmark has a very nice classy look. It will be a perfect gift for someone who is hard to buy for. Look for it in my Etsy shop in the next day or so.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

With God All Things Are Possible

This is one of my beautiful grand-daughters. She is older now, but this picture was taken at about the time that she was diagnosed with Wilms tumor of the kidney. We still marvel at how God pulled her, and all of us, through this ordeal. Surgery, then chemotherapy, and through it all God provided just the right people to help her through it. Today she is a happy, healthy 9 year old with no recurrence of cancer. You always want to think that it won't happen to you or those you love.... and then it does. Where does your help come from? Mine comes from the Lord, Maker of Heaven and Earth.

Only the Best!

Jane Grafton makes some of the most beautiful jewelry! She talks about choosing components in her blog. Here is the link:

Her words caused me to remember when I first started making jewelry with my friend. My friend would always choose the most excellent beads for her creations. But I was intimidated by the finer components and would always gravitate toward the less expensive ones. Her jewelry designs were always beautiful while mine were just OK. Happily, I have overcome that intimidation. While I don't design as much jewelry these days, when I do, I reach for the prettiest beads in my stash. The result is that I have more confidence in what I design. With so many lovely components, I feel I can't go wrong.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Crystal Bookmarks

Lately I have been making crystal bookmarks. They are made with Swarovski crystals, sterling silver and Bali silver. They are so sparkly and pretty! I am thinking that they will make great gifts for Christmas.

Colors talk, and they have Biblical meanings. I think I will begin to include a pretty little card with the meaning of the colors in each order I receive. Wouldn't that be a nice and interesting touch?

If you would like to see some of my bookmarks, just click on the link below and view them in my Etsy shop. I would love to know your opinion of them and any suggestions you may have about them.

Thanks and be blessed!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Unloved, Unwanted

My dad has a friend (I'll call her Mary) who is one of those needy people. You know, the kind that most of us avoid because they demand too much and disrupt our days. Mary has a big heart, but she also has a big problem. She likes her wine. And when she drinks too much, she gets a bit loud and obnoxious. This behavior has earned her the title of 'crazy woman' and has caused her many heartaches, though she really doesn't perceive this as the cause of her problems. The folks at the senior apartment complex where Mary lives are finally fed up with her. They have complained to the management. So this week she is moving. It's not her first move. It may not be her last. So, surely, Mary is to blame for her own troubles, right?

Well, not exactly. Whey my dad is around Mary does much better. He offers her friendship, not condemnation. She says he 'edifies' her. And although she is sometimes not very nice to him, he overlooks much of her rudeness and continues to be her friend. If there had been just one person in the complex who could have loved Mary as she is, perhaps she could have stayed there. There were those there who invited others to church and had their Jesus bumper stickers and carried their Bibles. Yet not one of them could love the unlovely. How sad.

I'm so glad that Jesus loves even the unlovable. That means there is hope for all the Mary's. That means there's hope for me, too, when I have my unlovable moments.

My dad is not a church goer. He doesn't claim to be a Christian. He does have a Bible, but I don't know if he reads it. Still, he has shown the heart of Jesus to one that the 'Christians' rejected and drove away. In my mind, that makes him a champion.

Oh, I should add that Mary has no family that cares about her either. Never married, no children, she states she has only a few distant relatives who treat her much the same as her neighbors. Perhaps, after she is settled in her new home, Mary will turn over a new leaf. Only God knows. But in the meantime, may God surround her with those who can see the 'gold' He has deposited in her and who will love the unlovely and care for the unwanted. And for those who can't, they have their reward. They have no Mary's in their lives, and none of the blessings that come through the sacrifice of caring about people like her.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I Love to Create

I believe there nothing more satisfying than to create something good. I think that God has put a desire for beauty and order in each of us, and I believe that He alone can release the creativity in us that will fulfill that desire. But my personal experience has been that, even as God releases creativity in me, I must take that seed and plant it in the soil of practice and diligence before it grows into the finished product.
I love creating polymer clay beads. Each one is like a
miniature work of art to me. But the process of creating one bead requires many steps. And often the finished bead looks nothing like what I initially envisioned. It seems almost as though the beads create themselves as I work with the clay. I wonder if this happens with other clay artists, or is it just my lack of years of experience working with clay. I don't know. But the beads that turn out the least like I expected them to are often the prettiest ones.