Monday, August 31, 2009

Crochet Bracelet by Wren Handmade

I just had to share this great jewelry item. For those that love to crochet and love to make jewelry, this is a natural fit. Who knew that you could make such intricate patterns with crochet.

I found this post via the Purl Bee and Wren Handmade graciously provided the pattern to that everyone can make their own bracelet. So HERE is the link to the pattern over at the Purl Bee.

If you would prefer to just buy one of these wonderful creations, here is Laura Normandin's Etsy shop.

I hope everyone had a great weekend.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Featured Artist - Julie DeGroot

I stumbled across this wonderful glass artist today while cruising the 1000 Markets site. She makes some of the most magical garden elements. Wind chimes are some of my favorite things to have in the garden besides rocks and hers are very unique. I especially love the stained glass koy fish for those that do not raise their own fish. Here is a little bit about Julie.

Just a little bit about me, I live in Beautiful Western New York, in the country surrounded by the woods and nature in a home that my husband and I built together from the ground up. The picture above is my teahouse and was a present built by my son and my husband, which is very dramatic when lit up at night. The pond in my banner and used in a lot of my pictures was hand dug and sculpted by hubby and me, filled with Japanese koi and lots of love. My gardens are wonderfully peaceful and just a beautiful place to sit to be inspired. When I find the time to do what I love, I’m in my glass studio, if not you will find me in my gardens : )

I am a self taught artist ~ I have been enjoying and creating stained glass, mosaic designs, paintings, murals and my gardens for over 20 years now. My art is everywhere inside and out of my home.

I have this great passion for glass, for my gardens and the great outdoors, so I combined them all to create my glass art for your home and garden. I create one of a kind stained glass art, inspired by nature. All of my glass art is individually designed and handcrafted by myself. Each piece is totally unique.

I’m always on the lookout for vintage glass, beads or different objects to reuse. I love to upcycle these into my art. To take nothing and turning it into something! Love that!! I think a garden should be filled with not only plants & love but a whimsical place to visit, little surprises around every corner.

I have a lot of fun creating my glass art ~ Nature always sings to me ~

Please check out Julie's 1000 Markets site and find your Jewels in the Garden.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

New Jewelry Posted

This week has been devoted to making earrings and getting some posted for sale. All these pictured are either for sale on my ArtFire or 1000 Markets shop. My favorite is the carved turquoise, coral and apatite. Now to start on some inexpensive pendant/necklace designs for the salon. I have the earrings ready and now to work on the other items that need to get refreshed for Fall. I haven't had a lot of time to devote to making items this Summer due to family needs, but now I'm ready to go again. Just being back in my little craft room has inspired me to continue to remake old jewelry pieces and create new ones.

Today was our Gem and Mineral club picnic, so I did get a little reprieve from my normal routine. As it was a little hard to get going this morning and make the potluck dish I wanted to (swedish meatballs) we opted for an apple pie from Costco. Those pies are so good and this one was no exception...just needed a little vanilla ice cream to go with it.

I hope everyone is having a good weekend and remember to enjoy yourself every moment of the day because life is short and we only have a limited amount of time to make our mark on this world.

Monday, August 24, 2009

DIY Washer Necklace

I've seen some different washer necklaces, but this one, I'll try. I found the link to Chic Steals from One Pretty Thing's blog.
The first picture is the Washer necklace from Chic Steals and the second is a kit you can purchase from Urban Outfitters. All you need is some grosgrain ribbon and washers from the hardware store. Check out Chic Steals blog for the tutorial. I really like the size of the small washers best and the red ribbon really sets it off.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Old, New, Reuse, Repurpose Jewelry

Martha has some wonderful ideas for reusing or repurposing some vintage jewerly such as the belt made from bracelets, the wool wrapped bangles or the button necklace. I love the feathered headbands...not sure where I would wear one of those except to a Roaring 20's party, but they are fun. The wool wrapped bangles would be easy to make and I would wear that. I bought some unfinished wood ones at the craft store a few weeks ago for the purpose of collage, but this might be a better option. Head on over to Martha's craft area and check out the instructions for these and several others you might find interesting.

On another note, we are off to the Experience Music Project wth the G-kids today and I have to get in the craft room and make us some "Peace" pendants for the occassion. We don't have the tie dye T-shirts which would be fun to wear for the day. It's Woodstock week and if you wear a tie dye then you get $3.00 off admission....oh well, it was a little late last night when I found out about the discount to go buy all the stuff and make new T-shirts.
Enjoy Santana and Peace Be With You!

Jewelry Pouches

Pearl over at The Beading Gem's Journal has found some great tutorials for anyone wanting to make their own jewelry bag. There are several different bag styles. I actually have made the circle one with the pockets on the inside before and have bought some to use as gifts when a customer purchases an expensive item. Check out all to see which one you would prefer to make. I'm liking the simplicity of the one from the Purl Bee, but what's your favorite? Do you have a favorite item to hold your jewelry in?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Relaxed at Last

It's been a hectic Summer. I thought that once I wasn't working I would have loads more time to get the house organized and cleaned, make new jewelry designs, blog more, take care of my mother-in-laws needs, market my book and be able to have dinner ready each night when my husband got home from work. I was definitely naive. I still have high hopes to getting things accomplished and will start to make a list so that I have something that I can check off as complete.

This week has been one of the longest weeks this Summer. We buried my mother in law and then moved all her belongings out of the Assisted Living Facility back to her house. Ordered new appliances for her house so that we can start renovations. Now we get to have a little fun with the grandkids until Sunday so we are trying to make memories. We were going to go to the beach but rainy cool days in Tacoma does not make for a sunny coast, so we are finding things to do around here. New video game, special meals, and hopefully a trip into Seattle tomorrow to go to the Experience Music Project and a gem tree workshop. It has been pizza, ice cream sundays and now movie marathons today.

The picture is of the G-kids on Wednesday afternoon after moving furniture. Funny how they are so serene when they are sleeping. Now we get to relax with them and have fun. It's nice to not have to do anything for a change.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Featured Artist - Scrapples

I love featuring different artists each week and this week's artist is from my home state, Washington. Scrapples has a 1000 Market shop and also sells through other venues such as Farmers Markets in the Summer months. They sell handmade one of a kind items such as purses, wire jewelry, vest, shrugs, rugs, barbie clothes, baby items and much more.

What was your inspiration for getting started with Scrapples? I love crafting and trying anything new. when I started scrapples I had lots of scrap items and did not want to waste them so I would make things with the scraps and give them to family and friends then I started getting requests from friends to make custom items to purchase, so there is the story behind scrapples.

How did you choose or hear about 1000 Markets to start selling? I was searching the internet for an online store that was a little different and ran across 1000 markets, I thought this would be a good way to showcase Scrapples and share what I was making.

Do you have any other personal or business information that folks might find interesting about you or your business? Growing up we used to go camping my dad would find large fallen trees and start craving a huge tiki out of it and leave it there for all to enjoy. He was a magician for 60 yrs and invented a lot of trick props for other magicians. He also played music and made instruments. He tried every craft he could get his hands on. Very creative man.

My mother taught me to sew, knit,crochet, cook and draw. So being from a creative family it is in my blood. My list of hobbies and accomplishments are long.

I really enjoy what I do and I am glad there is a place on the web to share Scrapples.

Here is the link to Scrapples web site on 1000 Markets. Check them out and find some very unique gift ideas or something for yourself.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fun Fabric Earring Idea

Okay, I do have to apologize for not posting my regular daily posts. I thought once we returned from Montana I would have loads of time....well family emergencies do take priority and hopefully those will be settling down soon. I am still reading all my favorite blogs and some have such great ideas like this one from Happy Together. They are fabric earrings. Cool idea and so easy to make.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Leather Fringe Tutorial

I’ve gotten so many compliments on this simple necklace that I decided to write a tutorial. I used gemstone beads, which can be hard since the holes aren't usually as large as you need, but you could also you lampwork, crystal and glass beads as well as ceramic and clay. Click the picture to make it larger.

18” 2mm Leather
6’ of .5mm Leather
20 Beads, crystals, gemstones to fit on the .5mm leather
2 Large hole silver beads for 2mm
End Crimps and Clasp
Flat Nose Pliers


  1. First make sure all your beads will fit on the .5mm leather cord. I string mine on a leftover piece while picking them out.
  2. Cut your 2mm (heavier leather) to 18” or whatever length you choose.
  3. Cut 6 pieces of 6” .5mm leather.
  4. Cut 2 pieces of 5” .5mm leather.
  5. Cut 2 pieces of 4” .5mm leather.
  6. Create a Larks Head knot with all your 6” pieces onto the middle of the 2mm leather.
  7. Add 1 5” piece with a Larks Head knot to each side next to the 6”.
  8. Add 1 4” piece with a Larks Head knot to each side next to the 5”. You should have a graduated look with the leather fringe. Do not worry that the knots are not tight on the 2mm leather. Refer back to the picture if you are concerned that yours may look different.
  9. Starting on one end, add a bead to one leather fringe.
  10. Tie an Overhand knot to secure.
  11. Add another bead to the next fringe and tie a knot.
  12. Continue adding beads and knotting being sure to alternate the placement of your beads. Either high on the fringe or lower close to the end.
  13. Tighten your Larks Head knots by pulling the fringe down.
  14. At this point you may decide to add more fringe. Just scoot your fringe pieces over and add more in between or at the ends.
  15. Add your silver beads to the 2mm leather, one at each end.
  16. Center your fringe and silver beads.
  17. Tie an Overhand knot in the 2mm leather to secure.
  18. Add end crimps and clasp.

As I quickly put this together, please let me know if you have questions or if I need to add more information. Please feel free to use these instructions and repost on your blog or web site just as long as credit is given. Thanks, Dana

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Original All-Bran Muffins

I had to resort to making my own bran muffins this morning as my mother in law who usually makes them is now in an assisted living facility and does not have a stove or oven. I already had purchased the All-Bran, but didn't have the recipe that she uses so I did what any computer savvy person would do and searched the internet and wa-la there it was. Now I don't know if this is the same recipe that she uses or not, but they turned out pretty good. I'll have to take her some later today.

The recipe can be found on, but I have reprinted it below. I didn't have fat free milk so I used 2% and I also used Canola oil vs. the Vegetable oil, no other substitutions were made. Please check out the Kellogg website for variations on reduced calories, fat and cholesterol. Enjoy, I know I did this morning.

The Original All-Bran Muffins

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teas. salt
2 cups Ready-To-Eat Cereal All-Bran Original
1 1/4 cups fat free milk
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil


  1. Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cereal and milk and let stand for 2 minutes.
  3. Add egg and oil to cereal mixture and beat well.
  4. Add flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  5. Portion evenly into twelve 2 1/2-inch muffin pan cups coated with cooking spray.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees F about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Serve warm (I also like to have butter on my muffins)

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Featured Artist Jude McConkey Photography

I just love photos of nature and these by Jude McConkey are wonderful. They have an unearthly feeling that makes you wonder. Here is a little bit more about Jude.

I'm a newspaper photographer by trade, but a fine art photographer by desire. I love using photoshop to enhance my work and prefer dreamy, intense, and yes, even creepy images full of emotion.

Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, I now live in the wilds of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where the winters are long and hard.

My photos have been featured in:
*Lake Superior Magazine *Sports Illustrated Kid's Magazine *Photographer's Forum Best of Photography Annual 2008 *Various newspapers throughout the United States *SaultRealism Fine Art Gallery *Alberta House Gallery *Firebrick Pottery and Gallery

To see more of my images:
For any questions or info, contact me here or at

Jude has a shop on 1000 Markets that feature some of these wonderful prints. I especially love trees and hers are definitely dreamy. My husband loves trains and this one with the snow is just captivating. Go visit Jude's web site and SHOP on 1000 Markets and see some of the wonderful photographs yourself.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Unique and One of a Kind Gifts

I know that we all love to receive gifts that were picked out just for us for Birthday's, Anniversary's, Christmas, Mother's Day, etc. and are always wondering where those wonderful ideas come from. ArtFire has a special Gift page that lets you search for just those unique gifts. The item may be handmade or you could order something special from some of the vendors just for that occasion such as a wedding.

I do have an ArtFire shop as well as 1000 Markets and ETSY, but ArtFire is becoming one of the star selling sites in the handmade gift and unique gift market. If you would like to check out their unique gifts page, check it out HERE.

If you would like to check out some of my items for sale on ArtFire, please visit me at

If you are into making items yourself and need supplies, then ArFire is also a good choice to check out. I found this fun shop and all it's curiosities. Geeminy Crickets has all kinds of old keys, pocket watch parts, vintage sheet music, papers and images to use for scrapbooking, collage or steampunk jewelry.

If you need a pattern or tutorial to make something yourself, HERE is the page on ArtFire that has a ton of vendors with their tried and true instructions. Yes, my gem tree tutorials are listed in this multitude of talented artists.

Check it out yourself and find a unique gift for that someone special in your life.

Dress Form Jewelry Stand

I know in my last post I said I would do a jewelry tutorial for my leather fringe necklace, but as I was trolling some of my favorite crafting sites I found this tutorial for a jewelry stand. Lots of ideas streaming through my head on how to customize it and make it to match your jewelry displays or bedroom to set on a dresser.

Check out Craft Chi's blog for this great idea.

Getting Behind

For all my followers on Facebook, blog and Twitter, sorry that I am so behind in posting. We have been in Montana for my gem tree competition the past week. I finished obtaining my "Masters" at the National level and as a surprise I was voted into the American Federation Newsletter Editor Hall of Fame. It is a great honor as only 1 or 2 per year in the Nation are voted in.

I promise when I get home there will be a new featured artist and a jewelry how to. I have received several comments on my leather fringe necklace that I thought I would write a tutorial and post out here so everyone can make one.
Had car trouble yesterday and are stuck in Ellensburg for a day to see if they can fix. If now we will just rent a car and drive home today and come back and pick up the car this weekend. It's frustrating to be only a couple of hours away from home.

Hope all is well and will write more when we get home.


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