12/7/09

Just Breathe


I have been so crazy with orders since I wrote last! I've sold over 300 pendants in just a few weeks. I am happy today, because I got all of the foreign orders to the post office. I'm coming up for a little breath. I've also gotten all orders shipped up to Nov. 26th. Tomorrow I hope to finish up the 27th-29th orders.


I am waiting for a few supplies. I can't believe how fast all of my supplies ran out and then my suppliers were out! It's been crazy fun!! I'm sure now that next year during the slow period that I'll decide on my product line earlier and get a stock pile ready. It's a learning process and we're hoping for getting twice as many sales next year -- so I'll be getting better organized during the next few months.


Just today we've been planning a little what we're going to do during the Christmas Holidays and I'm getting excited to do something besides work from morning til early the next morning! I have to remind myself everyday to be grateful for the much needed money and customers and to "Just Breathe". . . .

11/5/09

Will the Twilight Movie Stay True to the Book?

This week in my Etsy Shop I've slashed my prices down more than 20% on all Twilight Inspired Items!

Many people are looking for something to wear to their "New Moon" premier parties and are getting very excited for another movie release. I must admit that I'm getting more excited as the time gets closer.


I'm interested to see if the movie keeps true to the book, or not. I reread the book, New Moon, just a few months ago so I can remember it better when I see the movie. I love it when a movie stays as true to the book as possible -- like the Harry Potter movies have tried to do. I'm always dissapointed when the movie deviates from the book to a point that it's putting a whole new light or spin on the book.

I'm one who likes to read the book beforehand (and encourage my children to do so also) so that I know the "whole story" that the author intended to tell.


When I took my family to the first "Twilight Movie" only my daughter and I had read the book. My adult boys, teenage boy and husband had not and were good sports to go with my daughter and I (since there were mostly women in the theatre).

My husband was totally confused by many things in the movie that weren't as adequately explained in the movie as it was in the book. For instance, they never really explained in the movie about the lack of fangs -- so he was confused when James bites Bella in the ending scenes and there aren't any fang marks. It's just instances like this one in movies that makes me what to read the book first -- so I know the "whole story".

10/28/09

Free Worldwide Shipping and New Products!!

For this week (Wed. Oct. 28 thru Wed. Nov. 4) I'm having a promotion of "FREE Worldwide Shipping" on everything in my Etsy Shop!!! This is a great savings when shopping for small gifts for friends and families!

Think of all of those people in your life that deserve a little something from you for the holidays! I'll be adding a few new fun products this week also, so keep checking back.


I've recently added some Bottle Cap Magnet Sets that can be used in the office or home decor -- or for those who have magnetic Bottle Cap Necklaces (i.e. Snap Caps).



I'm also adding more Bottle Cap necklaces for those younger (tween/teen) girls on your shopping list.






A few new Twilight items have been added -- just in time for the release of the 2nd movie on Nov. 20th.



Some more inspiration pieces have been added as well. I'm excited about the new pendant that is based on the Mutual 2010 theme for LDS youth groups. It will be available in any of the YW value colors and at a great discount for group orders. (If you are interested in this -- please email me).



I will also be releasing some Bottle Cap Theme Kits with instructions for the 2010 Mutual theme so those crafty leaders who want to make their groups something fun for Trek, Camp, Recognition, Birthdays, etc. can do so. More on this to follow. . .

10/22/09

Pretty Pink Couch


This couch reminds me of my grandmother's! Of course, hers wasn't all dressed up in this pretty pink. I found this splashy pink softness in Anna Maria's blog. She's got some new patterns out --- one of them is this darling multi-colored pillow!

My grandmother had reupholstered her couch and matching chair back in the early 70's -- it is a light green with pink highlights. It's still sitting pretty and classy in my mother's living room -- looks similiar to how Anna's couch looks at the top of her blog. My grandmother probably would have thought this bright pink couch a little too bold -- but I think that it looks good here among Anna's other bold and sunny prints!

10/12/09

Too many Tomatoes! Lots of Sauce!

This year we decided to plant a garden for the first time. We have quite a bit of land in the back of our home but really haven't attempted truly having a vegetable garden until this year. My husband found himself with lots of extra time in the spring because his work was furloughing their employees during the slow periods.



Because of his lack of work and the reduced income, we felt like it would be an excellent year to attempt to garden. Hubby divided the garden plot into raised beds that were 4 ft by 6 ft. He made about 10 plots. The first of June we went to a local greenhouse and bought lots of starts and a few seeds. I thought that tomatoes would be great to grow -- and we ended up with 15 tomato plants! Silly me! We had also bought cucumbers, beets, lettuce, peas, radishes, cucumbers, different varieties of squash, watermelon, other melons, peppers, herbs, and green beans.


Of course, since it was our first time, we did our best, but had some crop failures and some lessons learned. The main vegetable that thrived was the tomatoes! 15 plants of lots of tomatoes. We started have tomato sandwiches, sliced tomatoes, tomato salads, etc. Which I adored! There is nothing better than a fresh vine ripened tomato! We didn't have any problems with pests or disease -- just a great crop! We gave away some to family and enjoyed a lot.






But, we found that we had too many! I wasn't getting to them fast enough -- so we started to process some into tomato sauce. I didn't really want the bother of canning this year -- so I decided to freeze the sauce.



We picked boxes and boxes of tomatoes --- washed the tomatoes --- blanched them for 30 seconds in boiling water and then set them in an ice bath for a few minutes --- then my dear 17 year old daughter peeled and cut up all of those tomatoes!! She is truly a gem!! She tried to get out most of the seeds and juice as she peeled them.



I cut out peppers (some fun red and purple ones from the garden and some green ones I bought), sweet onions and garlic. I cut everything up real fine. I sauteed the peppers, onions and garlic in butter until the onion was translucent and the peppers soft. Then I poured in the bowls of cut up tomatoes that my daughter had all cut up. I had a whole pan full. I brought everything to a boil and then turned it to medium and continued to cook it on a low boil for a few hours. I would keep stirring and checking to see if the liquid was boiling out and the tomatoes breaking up. I added a couple of tsp. of Italian Seasoning and salt and pepper. I also added a 1/4 cup of brown sugar. At the end I added 2 cans of tomato paste and simmered it another 30 minutes.




The sauce turned out delicious, chunky and great over some fresh pasta! We ate some of it fresh on the few nights that we were making the sauce. The rest we put into plastic freezer containers. I got 12 quarts of fresh tomato sauce in my freezer -- gave some away and we ate some. I figure that we had plenty to eat fresh tomato sauce once a week during the winter months!



Now the tomato plants have frozen. We picked a bunch that are still ripening on my counter right before the cold spell hit. We'll still have some until the end of the month.


We love the tomatoes -- but since I only have 2 kids left at home and my husband eats tomatoes cautiously because of acid reflex -- we had better only plant 4-6 plants next year! It was a great learning experience and one that we can build on for a better garden next year. Maybe we'll try for a bumper crop of green beans next year since our plants failed this year!




9/17/09

My Favorite Time of Year

Fall is definately my favorite season!

I adore the cool nights but yet warm days. The days are getting a little shorter. School is starting -- there are football games, homecoming, marching band. There are goals and hopes of a better scholastic year!



Holidays are coming --
Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas


Families are thinking of one another.

The leaves are turning colors --- beautiful and magnificient shades of red, orange and yellow. I live near the rocky mountains and taking a drive in the canyons during this time of year is a must!

9/10/09

Remember September 11th with Hope


I'm writing this just minutes before September 11th officially begins here in Utah. I am reflective about the past 8 years and wondering what lessons I as an individual, we as a nation, and for sure, all of humanity has learned and implemented in each of our lives since the tragedy happened. When the Twin Towers in New York City were destroyed it was indeed a bleak day for us here on the earth. Many wondered what would happen next and feared the worst. A tremendous amount of lives were forever changed and molded by this event. I pray that the changes were for the good. I hope that more people have found true meaning in their lives, have turned to God, and have decided to be committed to those things that mean the most in their lives.


Take a minute and view this video that shares how a man who was there has learned to have hope.


9/9/09

Trade for Boxes

I made a fun trade a few weeks ago and I was very pleased with what I received in the trade. I traded some custom pendants and magnet for 10 folded, decorated boxes. Angilyn from Simple Tastes hand folds gorgeous boxes that can be used for a variety of uses. She also makes chocolates during the holidays and shows some of the boxes holding her sweets. There are adorable little party favor boxes that cater to children and fantastic ones that can be used at an adult party. For those who need to hostess a party or have a wedding coming up --- these would really come in handy! I chose the brown and blue boxes since that combination of colors is one of my favorites! The folds were precise and the box was very sturdy. I was looking for a box to package my glass rings and other items that I sell which don't fit into my gift tins. The boxes are just the key!
Cute, sturdy, light and fit nicely in the bubble mailer. Thanks Angilyn for giving something very useful and gorgeous to boot!

9/1/09

Bloom Where You're Planted

Bloom where you're Planted, new inspirational pendant in my shop
Have you ever wished that your life was different? I know that I can say that I'm guilty in that regard! Throughout my life I have watched others and have envied their seemingly over abundance of financial and physical blessings and begrudged my lack thereof. I have envied other mothers who seemed to have very obedient and compliant children that were also blessed and talented in many ways. Then I went on to regret the trials and struggles that my own children faced in their lives.

Do any of my thoughts and feelings ring true to your heart? If so, maybe this quote will be a good reminder to you as it is for me! "Bloom where you're Planted". This is one of my new glass pendant designs.

There are no coincidences in life. God has a plan for each and everyone of us. What we do with what we're given is our choice. Will we make the most of our blessings? When the torrential rains and fierce winds bear down on us, will we bloom or will we be content to wilt and let our potentials wither away with each new trial that we face? Will our trials prove to strengthen us and refine us into great warriors for Christ or will we become resentful, bitter and toxic to everyone around us?

The choice is ours --- I choose to Bloom!

8/28/09

Personalized Custom Key Chains -- Christmas Gift Idea


You carry your keys everywhere!! What a great gift to give your spouse, parent, grandparent or child --- a glass keychain with a custom photo of a loved one -- beloved pet -- favorite hobbie -- or Big Boy Toy under the glass.


The glass will protect the photo nicely and the glass-like resin that I layer on the back of the photo further protects the photo from daily use.




The glass used is crystal clear 1" handcut glass with rounded edges. The swivel hook used is a nice sturdy hook that will withstand a lot of use.

The Custom Key Chain will come in it's own little tin -- all ready for gift giving.

This would be a gift that would be used and appreciated all through the year!

8/27/09

Lucious Thick Glass for Magnets

My glass maker has developed this new thick glass for magnets. It is delicious and highlights personal photos. The glass that I was using before was crystal clear and very pretty. But this glass is twice as thick and I adore how the light bounces off the rounded corners.




Here is my old style of 2" glass magnets with the thinner glass. It is pretty and nice!




Here is my new style of thick, gorgeous handmade glass. Love it!! What do you think?

8/26/09

Ready for the Crunch? Twilight Mania!


I haven't posted for a few days -- I've been busily getting many new designs created, printed, manufactured, photographed, edited and listed on my shop!! It is such a great effort to make up new designs!

I really do love to get new designs in my shop though. Besides the new exposure and increased views to my shop, I love looking at the "new faces" when I browse through my shop windows!!

The inquiries about my Twilight Jewelry have made me realize that a great deal of shops (online and brick and mortar) are gearing up for the release of the 2nd Twilight Movie, New Moon, in November. I've been busily making up new mixed media Jewelry with the Twilight Theme. Many holiday shoppers will be looking for Twilight Inspired Jewelry for their loved ones that are hooked onto the Twilight Books and Movies.

I will have some pictures of the Movie Characters in my Jewelry Selection. But, I also wanted to give the shoppers some fresh and original items from which to choose!

8/23/09

Feeling Shamed for Working at Home

I had a conversation last night while at the grocery store that gave me cause to ponder my reasons for being a Work at Home Mom. While strolling along with my shopping cart scouting out the spices and olive oil, I heard someone call my name. A lady that I had known while I was teaching Resource at a local elementary school commented that she hadn't seen me for ages. I thought quickly to myself that it probably had been quite awhile since I haven't taught school for the past 4 years and two years before that I had taught at middle schools.

So, she asked me what I was "doing" -- which I knew meant, "where are you working". I happily told her that I was working out of my home. She looked at me funny and said, "doing what?", in which I replied, "Right now I'm making glass jewelry that I'm selling online". Well, I could tell from the look on her face that she was very confused and concerned. Then she asked me, "didn't you finish your degree?". I told her that I had -- and thought to myself, "I finished two degrees and was a project short of my master's" --- but I told her that I felt that I was needed at home right now. She then said, "for your children?" and I said yes.

We then parted --- on to look for the rest of the items on my list -- me with a very pensive attitude and concern in my heart.

I reflected how my mother's generation didn't have to worry about working out of the home -- and if there were those that did, it was against the norm. In her time, you were expected to be home gardening, canning, sewing, caring for the children, working in the community and church, beautifying your home, supporting your husband and family, etc. My mother consistently worked from sunrise to sunset. She wasn't thought weird for staying home and taking care of the home and family.

Even today there are many women who choose to stay at home and raise their children -- and most applaud their efforts -- believing that it is best for children to have a mom raise them rather than daycare facilities. But, for the most part, even in Christian societies, it is thought that a woman should go out and "do something" once all of her children are school age.

On that line of thinking -- when looking a a middle-aged woman whose 3 older children are out of the home and the 2 youngest are in High School, one may truly think that there is something "wrong with her" if she chooses to not work out of the home (I'm talking about me here). Others may wonder how I can find stimulating conversation and something to "keep myself busy" if I'm not busying myself away from the nest.

I hate that sort of thinking --- I love being at home -- I love my nest, my family and creating a great place for us all to be. Of course, we live very frugally. Others may not like that aspect of not working outside the home, but I take it as a challenge. I look at my ancestors and marvel at how they lived on very little means, yet were very happy people.

I'm hoping that my home-based business of creating pieces of beauty for others to wear will progress to bring our level of income to a place where we can have more security and peace -- that is why I'm doing it. But, at the same time I don't what it to take over the position for what's number one and two in my life -- God and Family.

I've still got a lot of rambling in this area to do . . . but not today . . . I'll leave some ramblings on the importance of a mother being in the home for another day.

8/18/09

Pendants now come with Free Chain and Cute Tin

Now all of my pendants in my Etsy Shop will come with a chain!! This is GREAT for gift giving! For one low price you can buy the pendant and chain. I will also be switching up to packaging all of the pendants in a cute decorated tin. It all makes such a cute package! Pendant, chain and Tin -- all ready for gift giving or for keeping for yourself.

I will still have many options of chains, ribbons, cables and cords available for purchase in my shop! Sometimes it's great to have a few different options to switch up the pendants to a different chain/ribbon/cable depending on the outfit that you're wearing.

The BEST news yet is that for the moment I'm not raising my prices. You'll still have the opportunity to buy this cute package for $6.50! That's huge! Probably once I have loaded on all of my new designs for the holiday -- by the middle of September -- then I'll be raising the prices to match the market.

**I've also added the addition of 2 new "Gift Sets" to my shop that will add more options in buying in bulk.

8/15/09

New Custom Photo Glass Jewelry

I've just finished up a really cute Custom Photo pendant of an adorable dog!

The picture is of a customer's sweet furry companion -- made into something that she can keep close to her heart. She bought a chocolate/copper colored chain to go with the pendant which I think looks fantastic!
Pets give their owners such love and devotion. Our pets (dog, cat, rabbit) have brought such a sense of security and love to our home. They love us unconditionally and bring my children tons of therapeutic devotion.
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