Sunday, July 31, 2011

God Always Provides

So here I sit in the middle of the summer.. well closer to the end of summer now.  The boys don't return to school for a little over a month.  But school supplies and new school clothes are looming directly in front of me.  I still cannot believe how quickly these boys outgrow shoes!  Xander is already in a men's 10 and he is only 12!

This time of the year, my family always feels the money crunch.  I think its because I have all these kids and their friends to feed at least 3-4 times a day.  Boggles the mind where all these kids keep coming from.  On top of that there are summer activities and different things just to keep the kids "occupied" during the long, hot and humid summer months of the south.  The broken mower means that we pay someone else to mow until we can afford to get it fixed. Doctor visits for me and my husband along with the cost of prescriptions *yikes*. Oh yeah and the broken pipe in the basement that had to be repaired.

So with no money and all these new "things" that need to be purchased, I turned to prayer.  The Lord always provides for this family.  No matter how rough things have been in the past, we have never gone without what we needed. Sometimes simply a friend, that has some hand-me-downs that fit the boys, or my MIL will send clothes for the kids or sometimes a co-worker shows up with school supplies for the kids.  Some wants may not have been fulfilled, but the needs always have been. The most important thing to remember is that He provides in His time not mine.

As you know, I have been sick for a week or two now.  This means that the hubby (Oh how I love the man) has to take charge of managing things like the bills *gasp* and the household chores *how could he possibly*.  So that really means that everything is a mess which *ugh* kills me! 

There is a stack of mail sitting tidily (yeah right) for me to filter through when I feel better.  Well today I decided to tackle the pile.  Low and behold.. a CHECK.. Yes a CHECK.. I couldn't believe it!  Totally unexpected .. Sitting there just waiting to be opened.  More than enough to cover the costs of all the needed things with some left over for a rainy day.

I went to my knees and praised the Lord for the wonders that He provides.  He knows the right time for me.  This has happened to me before and will probably happen to me again.  He knows the right time. 

Unexpected blessings from the best provider, the Lord.

Much Love

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Starting a Stash

I am fairly new to beading and haven't really started cultivating a stash yet.  I purchased some beads from a friend who was bored of making jewelry ***I had NO IDEA that was even possible***  So that started my collection.  I have purchased a few beads here and there.  Through all my reading (mostly blogs) I have learned that Etsy can be a wonderful place to find OOAK beads.  I would love to purchase some lovely focal beads and some interesting complimentary beads. 

So who are your favorite bead makers / sellers on etsy?  Or even another supplier that you have turned to over and over again?

Much Love

Friday, July 29, 2011

Blogger Roundup

I am still feeling horribly under the weather.  Decongestants and antihistamines are causing an enchanted fog to wrap itself around my mind.  This being said, how can I concentrate on anything?  I can't.. it's that simple.  I have a hard time when I am feeling well maintaining focus, so when I am sick there really isn't any point in trying. 

Of course, I received a new shipment of goodies from B'sue Boutiques.  I have looked them over a couple times already - and each time I am certain that there is something in there that I didn't see before.  I am excited to start creating, but that will have to wait until I can hold my head up on my own. 

I thought that I would share with you some of my favorite blogs that I look forward to reading everyday..even the days when I am too sick to do anything else.

Pink Chapeau Vintage Jewelry
This is my friend Terry's blog.  She has started writing again after taking a little time off. 

A Bead A Day
She is working on decorating an interesting watch that she found.  Take a look as she blogs about what works and what doesn't. And she always has interesting beads to show and tell :)

Humblebeads Blog
Check this out!  She is having a fantastic giveaway and a sale in her Etsy Store.  She has also put up a new challenge - Inspired by Bees. 

Jewelry Making Outside the Box
I just love B'Sue, she is amazing and fabulous.  This week she is encouraging her followers to start up their own blog to promote their business.  Also take a minute (probably more) and check out her Etsy shop (bsue1441), and her online shop (link above), and her youtube videos.

Wednesday 3 o'clock
And I cannot forget Wendy Baker's fabulous blog that talks about it all. 

Hope that you all have a great time reading what these lovely ladies have share. 

Much Love,

Monday, July 25, 2011

Being Sick is the Pits

Who ever heard of a cold in the middle of the summer?  Just my luck that I have been "stricken".  It was traveling through my house - one kid to the next until it finally infected my husband.  I thought that I was homefree, but then BAM! it got me. While I wait for my mind to clear long enough to focus on a jewelry design, rather than complain about my illness, I thought that I would share some photos of my boys.  I know they will cheer me up :)

Alec on his 18th birthday. 

Jordan all geared up for football

 Nick on his 16th birthday with his bestest best friend Stefon

Jordan & Nick at Aidan's birthday party 2011 - so handsome and silly :)

Xander before he became parent shy - lol

Xander loving his music (he is quite an artist too)

Just Aidan - being super cute - he can't help it :)

Super close up of Aidan - I love this pic of him with his pretty eyes

 Each of the pictures may seem like not much to most people, but they mean a lot to me.  Each one of the pictures captured one instant of each of my boys lives.  One small second of time that is ingrained into my memory forever. 

Much Love,

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Just a hobby??

Ahhh.. my life ... what more can be said ??

I have a wonderful husband, 5 handsome sons, and 3 playful dogs...

I have a nice job, and a hobby that I really enjoy.

What more can a girl ask for? 

Well..... I would love to be able to take my hobby and make some extra money to support my hobby :)

So the real question is how does a horribly introverted girl present her handmade jewelry to the public? 

I am creating more and more pieces with the stash that I already have.  Thanks to a wonderful friend, Ellen of Vintique Jools (her creations are wonderful), I have some more stash.

Should I venture into the world of a facebook business page?  I have one that is getting started Firefly Visions, but it is slow going.  I am attempting to perfect the photo process - which is more difficult with jewelry than one would think.

Should I venture into the world of Etsy or Artfire?  I am beginning this process, but want to wait until I can get some good photos first. 

Should I try my hand at some local craft shows?  Being a horribly introverted girl does not help in the world of sales :(  However, I would if I even knew where to begin to look.  So, if you are reading this and know of a good resource for local craft shows in the Chattanooga, TN area, let me know :)

My trek begins into this unknown.  I will keep you up to date with how it goes.  If anyone has some stories or ideas to share, let me know :)

Much Love,

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Catching Up

It feels as though it has been forever -- and it probably has been -- since I posted on the blog.  Things have been hectic and on top of that I have been sick :(

VBS was a hit!! And YES that is a bright pink VW Bug on the stage at church.

I finished up my first MBA class with a wonderful A!!  Started my second class and am moving along in that one as well.

I was lucky enough to win a $50 gift certificate to B'Sue Boutiques .  I created two pieces for the Five & Dime Challenge that B'Sue was having. 
 Musical Buttons
Romantic Charm

She did a random drawing of the entries and woo hoo!! I won!  Go to B'Sue Boutiques facebook fan page to see more of the wonderful designs.  Everyone is so talented and the challenges are so much fun!

I am working on getting a facebook fanpage setup myself at Firefly Visions .  I am hoping to start up an Etsy store soon.  I am trying to build up my creations before I open the store. 

I was able to create two other pieces during the past couple of weeks.

I hope to have even more creations for you soon. I will be adding some more tutorials that show how I created some of the pieces.

Much Love,

Monday, July 11, 2011

VBS, MBA and B'Sue

What a hectic week this week! My hands and feet are sore, sore, sore!  It comes with the territory. 

The week began with cutting out 400  1 inch circles for the "wheels" on a craft project for Vacation Bible School this week.  My hole punch worked great for the first 150 but then it apparently decided that it had worked hard enough.  So 250 more were traced and cut out with scissors - the main reason that my hands hurt. 

VBS tonight was wonderful!  I love this time of year, but can honestly say that I am glad when Friday evening gets here.  The kids so far have been a pleasure to work with on the variety of crafts.  1st-6th grade painted their toilet paper roll cars and the wheels, while the teen boys worked on duct tape wallets and the teen girls worked on duct tape purses.  All in all it was a wonderful night!  (This is the reason that my feet are sore)

I am working on my MBA and have been preparing for the final in my first class and the presentation that is due tomorrow.  (I am sad to miss VBS tomorrow night)  It's all coming together and I am looking forward to finishing this first class (Business Ethics - the ONLY reason that it has been interesting is because of the instructor)  *Maybe I should have noted that my head should be hurting too!

I was able to carve out a little time to work on another piece for the Five & Dime challenge at B'Sue Boutiques facebook fan page.  I already pictured one of my entries Musical Buttons, but I have another one to share.  I am not really sure what to call this piece yet. Here are some pics, maybe you can help me come up with a name.

Closed Bracelet
Close-up of Clasp
Open Bracelet
Close-up of dangles
It is a very romantic looking piece; it is light weight and will basically go with any outfit.  Mixed metals, pearls, and wire wrapping.  I will dedicate a post to the making of this piece.  The steps are very simple and if you have a good working knowledge of wire wrapping you should be able to replicate the piece.

Much Love,

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Musical Buttons

I have finished a piece using the buttons that I had posted in my first blog post.  These buttons were found at a local antique shop.  The bracelet is very light-weight and sounds beautiful when worn.  I will post again later today with more information on how I made this.  ** Which I may be tweaking the design some to make it a little softer.

I made this for the Five and Dime challenge going on at B'Sue Boutiques fan page

For all of you jewelry designers, these challenges are fantastic and produce the most interesting interpretations of the theme. 

Take a little time and check it out.

Much Love,

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Keys to my Art

Who doesn't love a beautiful, warm, sunny Saturday?  I enjoy these summer days so much from the wonderfully air conditioned indoors.  While the kids were outside enjoying the beautiful day, I sat down at my art table and worked on my project some more.

I had an idea in my head: keys in wire.  Beautifully suspended together.  So I pulled out my crochet hook, my spooled wire and my keys to see what I could come up with that would bring my vision to life.  I chose two different types of wire. It is much easier to work with wire on a spool when crocheting. The higher the guage the easier the wire is to manipulate. 
 Parawire brand; Vintaj Natural Brass colored copper wire; 24ga 

Bead Smith brand; Copper; 24ga

I used a size E4/3.50mm crochet hook.  The size of the hook and the size of the wire can be altered depending on the look that you wish to achieve.  Keep in mind, though, that the thicker the guage of the wire, the more difficult it is to manipulate.

The pictures that I am using below are to illustrate only. The pieces that I made will be pictured at the bottom. Although each step is followed, for illustrative purposes, I only did a few loops versus all that I needed to create my pieces. There is a wonderful video tutorial on how to crochet a necklace with beads from Auntie's Beads on YouTube .

To begin, I placed the key that I wanted to work with on the wire while the wire was still on the spool.  It is important that the items that you want to include in the crochet piece be on the wire prior to going to any next steps. 

I attached the wire to my crochet hook by simply wrapping the wire around the hook and twisting it a few times leaving a tail.  This is the first loop, so it shouldn't be tight on the hook. The loop should be able to move up and down the hook easily.

 I crocheted 12 single stiches and then turned the work.  Note that I still have not pulled my key into the work yet.  The loops can be as tight or loose as you like again depending on the look that you are trying to achieve.

Once I completed the number of loops that I wanted to include, I turned the piece and started adding a second row.  After completing a few loops, I pulled the key up so that it could be included in the piece.
Notice how the wire is going through the key hole.  This is because I already had the key on the wire before I started working.  I completed a few more rows, pulling the key to a lengthwise position, and used my crochet loops to hold it in place. When working the key into the crochet, I always kept the key on the side of my work furthest from me. 
Once I completed the last loop in my last row, I removed the hook, cut the wire, and then pulled the loop tight. Then simply work the ends in and trim them. Check to be sure that you haven't left any pointy parts poking out that may snag on clothing or irritate skin.  Once you complete the piece, you can manipulate the wire to even out the shape. 

And here are my two completed sections.  I am going to use these in the creation of the chain part of my necklace.

More to come soon.
Much Love,