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Showing posts from May, 2010

Pendants for the Kids

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I took a fun little break this afternoon while both my kids were at school. While sipping coffee and listening to Susan Boyle, I created these little pendants. My daughter adores anything reptilian, especially lizards, and my son cannot get enough of frogs. I hand shaped them out of polymer clay and will set them on leather cord for the kids, although they will probably come off and be used as toys. I've been trying to find my way with this new medium lately, and so far have been unable to come up with anything elegant enough for a piece of adult jewelry, so I decided to have some fun with it. Now I'll get to present my kids with cute, little presents after school and I get to enjoy the benefits of having had a fun, creative, and really quite relaxing afternoon.

Sterling and Agate

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There really is not too much I can say about this piece. The agate pendant is an incredibly stunning piece that speaks for itself. It was really quite by accident that this necklace came to be. Sometime ago, I picked up the little agate beads, and wasn't quite sure what I was going to do with them, but they were too beautiful to leave alone. Then, a week or so ago, while visiting Edmonton for a dentist appointment, my husband surprised me with a little side trip to Bead World. I've never seen so many beads and pendants in my whole life. I could have spent hours in there, browsing and designing, but I didn't have hours, I had about 15 minutes. Feeling completely overwhelmed, I wasn't going to buy anything, and then this blue agate caught my eye. Like the small beads before it, I really didn't know what I would do with it, but I had to have it. Now I had forgotten about the little blue agate beads, so when I went looking for something to compliment the large p

A Cha-Cha

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There was little to no thought put into this bracelet. I picked up some lovely glass beads, grabbed some wire, and a few tools, and went to sit on my deck with an espresso and the sunshine for motivation. I got started by creating all the links for the base chain, and then I went to work on the 'charms'. I just turned and twisted and played with beads and wire until I ended up with something I liked. I worked like this until it was time to make supper, and realized that I wasn't even 1/4 of the way finished. I put everything together into a bowl, and kept the project nearby, where I could pick it up at any time I had a few moments. So over the next 3 or 4 days, with the time adding up to several hours, I had a finished bracelet. I love this piece because it is unique and has a lot of character. It is fun to wear because it is heavy, and makes a wonderful sound with the slightest movement. It is fun to look at because of the variety of beads, the depth in some of

Chocolate and Lavender

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When I'm looking for a little comfort, a bit of indulgence, I turn to chocolate or lavender, and sometimes both. Chocolate in the form of 85 to 90 percent cocoa, and lavender in the form of essential oil, added to a bath or spritzed on a blanket before I sit down to read. This sounds simple, but for me it is like having had a vacation. All I need is a few minutes, and I can completely clear my head and get to a calm place, where I am once again centered and ready to go on with the day. Even the colours are effective in setting the tone for my mood. My bedding was completely inspired by these two comforts. The sheets are a bamboo and cotton blend in an earthy, lavender, and my duvet is a dark, chocolate brown. I find the combination both soothing and beautiful. I've grown lavender in my garden and this year I have started it from seed in my greenhouse and intend to harvest it to make little sachets for my drawers and closets. It is barely an inch high, and it already g

The Greenhouse

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Ahhhh...the greenhouse. This is my first year with a greenhouse, just a little 'shack' my husband built for me this Spring. I love it. I've started 4 varieties of tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins. There are nasturtiums, zinnias, black-eyed susan vine, morning glories, sunflowers, rain daisies, four o'clocks, nemophila, coleus, pampas grass, hyacinth bean, sweat peas, lavatera, lavender, and parsely. A friend who has maxed out her greenhouse space brought me over 200 plants, a mix of celosia, bacopa and euphorbia. I always loved going to the big greenhouses in the Spring, and would visit several days a week, as soon as they opened. Inevitably, I would end up spending hundreds of dollars on plants. This year, I have yet to set foot in one. I never would have imagined feeling this much satisfaction from starting and tending to my own plants. My husband said that it cost just a little over $120 to build. Little does he know how much money it will save.

Meet an Indie Designer

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Who is the creator behind these two very different, and completely wonderful works of art? Hollie, but who in the world is Hollie? In a world where we are constantly bom barded with violent and negative images, Hollie has taken her place amongst the positive, the free spirited, the dreamers, the people who are going to turn this world into a better place. I 'ran' into Hollie when a teammate on Etsy told us about a blog and the mission to raise money and awareness for SOS - Save Our Seabirds. I was intrigued and went off to discover Mermaids Closet, a fun, uplifting and informative blog about saving ourselves and saving the world. I joined my teammate and Hollie in their mission to do their part for the wonderful seabirds by choosing 3 of my favorite items and offering 25% of their sales to the SOS foundation. Each time an item sells, I will replace it with a new choice. Hollie however, has offered 25% of any of her sales in either of her shops. To visit 'I'm

Kreativ Blogger Award

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The Kreativ Blogger Award has been passed to me by Little Bear's Mom, a wonderful Etsy teamate on the 'Oh Canada' team and a fantastically, supportive blogger. She goes absolutely out of her way to support not only her teammates but the whole of the Etsy community. She actively participates in the forums, helps with any questions she can, checks out all of our new listings, and takes the time to read many blogs. With all the time spent on the computer, it is a wonder that she has any time at all to create beautiful jewelry for her shop. The bracelet on the left is just one of her gorgeous creations. Clicking on the photo will take you directly to her shop, and you can see for yourself all the wonderful jewelry she has created. Once you have been thoroughly impressed with her creations, get to know her a little better by visiting her blog . Now I have a few duties as recipient of this fun award, and they are: 1. Post the award on my blogspot. 2. Thank the person who

The Year of the Tiger

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I decided last night that the name of my blog needed to be changed. 'Blue Jeans Jewelry' just is not going to work for all that I would like to write about. The jewelry hobby/business that I have started is only a small part of what I enjoy doing and what I find interesting. Nearly 13 years have gone by since I developed an interest in cakes. Thanks to my Mother-in-Law, her talent, and her interest in my work, I've done countless cakes over the years for my friends and family. The Chinese New Year cake you see here was done this past February as a celebration of The Year of the Tiger, the sign my husband was born under. Each sign was painstakingly hand-painted in edible ink on fondant. The cake is iced in buttercream, and the tiger is also done in buttercream, but on a separate piece of fondant to give it some height. This July, I will be doing my little sister's wedding cake, and a scrabble cake for a dear friend of mine whose Mother-in-Law will be turning 90. I'v

On Mother's Day...

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It eventually happens to everyone... all of us, at some point in our life, lose someone we love. And then, sooner or later, that special day comes along, a birthday, a special holiday, Mother's day. For myself, Mother's day has become a day full of mixed emotion. Nostalgia, sadness, and joy mix to create a rich experience. On one hand my little boy is greeting me at the head of my bed at 5:30am, with an envelope that he has waited to give for 5 days, (an eternity to a 4 year old), and I am filled with pride and joy. On the other hand, I catch a quick glimpse of the dream I just woke from, having coffee with both my Mother and Grandmother, and I am filled with a longing and a sadness, as this is not possible. My 7 year old girl tells me to close my eyes, and fills my countertop with all sorts of cut-outs and paintings that she just spent the last hour working on, and I feel loved and adored. I wonder how my Mom felt when I gave her my little girl scribbles on a crumpled p

For Your Garden

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It is finally that time of year again, my favourite time of year. The snow is gone, delphiniums, irises, and lilies are up, and the greenhouses are open!!! I love to plant all kinds of flowers, vegetables and herbs, but I also love to decorate with wonderful little finds like the ones in this treasury I created from several different Etsy shops. I love to take little knick-knacks like the ones you see here, and tuck them away, in a tree, under a plant, in between stones, hide them, if you will. So, unless you're really looking, you will not find them, but if you are, you will get a little surprise. I've even surprised myself in this way several times, especially in the Spring when I first go out to take a good look at the yard and realize who I missed during the Fall clean-up. Often the things I buy for the garden, really 'blend in' with their surroundings, almost like they could have been there naturally, so they are easy to miss. Have fun browsing through the sh

Meet Ellie

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When you decide to order something online, there is always that little bit of apprehension . Is it going be as good as I thought it would be? Were the pictures true to the product? Just who am I dealing with here? Well, meet Ellie, a wonderfully soft, cuter than cute, little elephant, who just happens to be all she promised to be and more. Extremely well made, from the choice of fabrics, to the hand embroidery, you just know quality when you hold it. Two Stray Cats is the name of the shop on Etsy where I found sweet, little Ellie, and it is obvious she was made with love. And, the love carries on, because 10% of the purchase goes to the charity, 'Etsy for Animals', a group more than 500 strong, all helping to provide relief to animals through various organizations. There is even a section in the Two Stray Cats shop that donates all profits to EFA. So wonderful, a lovely gift for my niece, a donation to an important cause, and a new way to shop on Etsy. Click on

Murano Bracelet

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Here is the latest addition to my little shop on Etsy. These are all hand linked glass beads with the cute little murano glass cabochons 'floating' between each link. I had purchased a vintage lot of jewelry making supplies with a real mix of cabochons, stampings, findings, crystals, and beads. While digging through and organizing this treasure, I found these sweet, little cabochons. But, what to do with them? I formed a pretty little loop-de-loop link and used epoxy to attach the cabochon. I waited a day, tested it for sturdiness, it passed with flying colors, so off I went to find more beads to co-ordinate with the murano glass. Because a lot of my beads and things are from recycled pieces, I sometimes find myself in a bind for materials that will work together. This piece was no exception. I was sure I didn't have enough of the blue beads alone, so I tried oranges and reds, blacks and browns, but nothing was working for me. then I came across the green beads

Handmade Soap

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You may have thought that by the title of the blog and by the previous entries, that this entire site would be strictly about jewelry. Really, it is about the appreciation of anything handmade, and there is currently no better website than Etsy for that. A few weeks ago, shortly after I opened a shop on Etsy, I joined the Alberta team and met Krysta of Carvel Country Soapworks, in the team's forum. A stay-at-home Mom, with an appreciation of all things handmade, she creates a wonderful array of bath and body products, but what really attracted me was the frog-shaped soap. I have a 4 year old little boy whose life currently revolves around frogs, and a little girl who can not stop acting like a lizard. So, naturally I asked Krysta if she could create something that would pertain to my daughter's interest. I couldn't order one child frog soaps without indulging the other with something in the shape of a lizard. Without delay, less than a week, I had in the mail, 2 frog

A Cloisonne Delicacy

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Cloisonne is both a product and a process, an ancient technique used for decorating metalwork objects. Closed sections are created by either gluing or soldering fine wire to the piece. These sections are then filled with enamel and need to be fired in a kiln. The fine wire remains visible in the piece and becomes part of an often very intricate design. Cloisonne was first developed in jewelry, smaller pieces such as rings and bracelets. This technique, like so many others, is limited only by imagination, and is used for decorating bowls, vases, statues, really just about anything. The beads you see in this little bracelet are small, five by eight millimeters, and are beautifully detailed. Imagine what time it must have taken to individually create each bead. When creating this bracelet, I wanted to compliment the intricacies of the beads, and so I made the link work fine, and a bit complicated. Each beautiful bead is showcased between the links so that it may be appreciate

The Groovy Garden

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Look at this wonderful bracelet...no, look at the beads that make up this wonderful bracelet. Now tell me, could you ever get bored wearing this? The creator of these wonderful beads is Melissa, a fellow Albertan, mother of six girls, and a graduate of the Emily Carr College of Art. Although, the lampwork glass beads you see here are the basis for her shop on Etsy, Melissa enjoys art of all kinds and enjoys working with many mediums. I was attracted to this bracelet for several reasons. First of all, it has a lot of my favorite color, blue, in it. The intricate designs, and the uniqueness of each bead, intrigued me. The fact that each bead was handmade and done locally was enough to make me pull out the credit card. Yes, sorry, this particular bracelet is no longer available, but there are many more items in her shop, each unique and beautiful in their own right. As an added bonus, our team, The Alberta Street Team, is having a sale this week on Etsy, and with at least 70 p