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Archive for July, 2010

Grooming Practice

July 27th, 2010 at 08:31 am

Does your young kid, much to your chagrin, cut the doll's hair, the cat's whiskers, or raid your closet to dress up?

OK, try this. Your sanity will be saved, not to mention your dollars, with this thrift store / yardsale tip:

Most of the stuffed animals in our local thrifts are $1 or less. Go pick out a really long haired one and let your little future groomer give it a hair cut. We've done this twice and it is FUN and REWARDING. You wouldn't believe how different the critter will look afterwards. My kid even did a 'poodle' style on one, ie puffy feet, poofy tail end. HA!

Anyone try this trick out with a long haired thrift doll for future salon owners?

Treat your princess with a really fancy ~ real wedding ~ gown. Yes, thrifts sell formals! And the cost is a teeny price for the glamour. Cut the bottom off to shorten (squeeze your eyes closed and just CUT!). Pin the back or straps to make it smaller.

........................................

Making inventory for end of the year boutiques!
Here's another new original.

Scroll Heart Earrings


Simple sweet hearts in pure copper. Peach pearl and teal crystal drop. Also in sterling silver. Contact me for special order.

Double Scroll Earrings


Fancy scrolls linked together with a little garnet flirt. 12K gf hooks.

Available by special order.

Saved by the Library

July 25th, 2010 at 08:36 pm

Are we having fun yet? Summer vacation is probably about half way through - some of it has been fun and carefree, some of it has been a major obstacle.

The good news is we made a second trip to the library and enjoyed many hours searching and browsing for great stories and activities. Thank goodness for the library. Other good finds include a very low cost high quality tennis league for one of my kids. And a week of horseback camp for the other was to die for naturally.

The bad news is that one of the summer activities didn't work out as well as hoped. It was a very difficult but popular kid's beach lifeguarding program. Hard and serious fun. But two of three weeks were enough for one of mine. No more worries and tense mornings about what had to be overcome that day thank you.

For me? Steadily checking off things to be done with the time off work. Including designing and making new chain and wire work.

Here is a test of new links for a necklace.

Partial Links for Necklace Chain

Try to imagine it with a few sparkling drops in strategic places such as between the links or off the scrolls.

Using much self discipline to continue home updates on a shoestring. It would be easy to just lay around and put off improvements, but I try to take advantage of free time. Yard sales yesterday were a bonus moment! The big empty space on top of the TV cabinet now contains a wide 6-candle holder, with candles, next to the new floral arrangement I did earlier this summer.

Will someone tell the yard to stop growing? It takes a few days to tend the backyard, mowing, trimming and harvesting. Picked potatoes and apples, and made cobbler. Impossible to do it all at once, I'd drop dead.

The outdoor upstairs patio is scrubbed, also a once/year thing. My kids did it, they get soaked, but I motivate them with a salary!

We all made our entries to the fair, now that's a treat! My jewelry case is themed 'Wraps, Weaves and Links' contains some of these:

Upward Spiral

Your very own little piece of California Real Estate! Beach agate, polished to a shine, wrapped in silver and blues.

A Different Kind of Web

Abstract wrapped agate in two tone green and gold.

Copper and Pink Turquoise Links


Cream Puff

Sparkling garnet and pearl in 14K gold filled wrapped ring.

Thanks for reading!

On Your Marks, Get Set, Start with an Envelope

July 10th, 2010 at 09:33 am

About 2 years ago I stopped in a 'surplus-come-art-and-teacher-supply' place called Art From Scrap. A fun and crazy place, with stuff donated from almost every source you can imagine. (More of these centers are starting up here and there.)

Restraining myself, I came out with only a stack of about 100 2" x 4" specimen envelopes for about a buck. The thought was they were just the right size for packaging jewelry.

Well I still have most of the envelopes awaiting a higher purpose.

AHA! Last week the perfect use came to mind. I love making cards and have a small stash of nice odds and ends, ie ribbon, fancy paper, buttons, beads, trim. And these little $1 punches at Michaels are a hoot. I got one, in the shape of a swirl.

So I made mini cards, fancy ones little collage style ones.

Here's an example or two or three...

Mini Cards



Lots of details in these 2" x 4" minis, notice the strings of beads, butterfly and leave charms, tiny pictures (from a glossy past calendar featuring incredible scenes in China), words clipped from scrap book paper, and more.

Lots more and priced for the budget sender at $1.50 ea.

Summer Tally, Free Nos. 1 thru 4

July 7th, 2010 at 08:14 am

When do you get something for nothing? Working backwards from yesterday the summer vacation free score is a winner...

...we asked the neighbor 2 doors down if they wanted to sell their driveway basketball hoop to us. It was used by them for many years by their now teen son who has outgrown it. Perfect now for my pre-teen son. They not only agreed but offered it FREE. These are good neighbors, we've had many a BBQ between us. Their teen wheeled it 2 doors down to our place and I gave him $10 for his trouble. (PS Craig's list didn't have ANY, so we lucked out!)

Quick aside, please take a peek at a summer jewel from my 'Oyster' collection.

Oyster Necklace (Gold)


How does it feel to open a shell and find a pearl? Here's how with a tahitian colored freshwater pearl cemented into a natural shell. Handmade gold filled bail, 18" fine link gold plated chain.


Oyster Earrings (Gold)



Mussels from the sandy beach of California made into a rare treasure. I collect the shells, sterilize and cement a freshwater pearl inside. Then handmake the bails and hang on 14K g.p. hooks.

Both available now at the Harbor Village Gallery (Ventura) or contact me here to order.

...on the first unscheduled vacation day I smartly had an outing with the kids to the library. We haven't been for awhile since both are older and do most of their school assignments from home materials. It was a treat! A good time was had by all. Near the hand binding book references (my choice) were were How to Draw Animals and Collage and Wire Crafting and Card Making books. The kids just stopped and dropped and were consumed for 20 minutes on the spot. Then up in the children's area my girl got excited about revisiting a couple books on tape (now disc) which we used to do 5 years ago when she was little. She wanted to regress a little! Happily so and other good reading was taken out for both!

...the first week of vacation we went to Washington DC (it was hot but not as hot as now!) and shared a room with my husband who already was there for a business trip. I suppose though we paid for extra people in the room, the experience was priceless. My favorite off-the-beaten-path place? The National Geographic Society exhibits on their first floor. FREE. At this time it was an in depth look at Leonardo Da Vinci. Including a full study of the Mona Lisa restoration of original colors and portions that have disappeared (due to the oil paint fading). Kids loved it, they know that picture! Also some hands on replicas of his inventions, ie wood gears, balancing machines, etc (you were supposed to try out). We chose to buy each of their best friends (who were babysitting the pet mouse and pet fish) a thank you gift here.

...You already know all the big museums are free in Washington DC. And we did the biggies, ie the Natural History Museum, the Air Space Museum and the National Archives. But one other FREE lesser known attraction worthy of note in Washington are the walking tours by DC on Foot. A very knowledgeable and fun guide took our ad hoc group (whoever met at the designated corner) from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial and a couple dozen points between. The fellow was a previous teacher, long time resident, and gave us hilarious details, fun quizzes and swore us en masse in using the Presidential Oath of Office. They take no fee, tips only (we did $10 for our group of 3).

Next post!!! Sprucing Up on a Shoestring! Stay tuned.