Thursday, November 24, 2011

SALE SALE SALE!!! BLACK FRIDAY UNTIL CYBER MONDAY

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the US. I hope all my family and friends are enjoying their turkey dinner. And wine. It's just another day as usual here in TO.  No turkey. Just chicken. And wine.

To kick off the holiday shopping season I am offering 10% all items in both my shops. The sale takes place from Black Friday until Cyber Monday.

If you are purchasing from my  ETSY shop please use coupon code BLACKFRIDAY2011

All of the items in my Artfire shop will automatically be reduced by 10%.

Have a peek at some new items...

Peruvian opal and gold multistrand necklace


Tanzanite and gold wire wrapped hoop earrings


Peruvian blue chalcedony and gold wire wrapped earrings


A big thank you to all my family, friends and clients!! Your support and encouragement mean all the world to me!!

Happy Shopping!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Made By Hand Show

I will be participating in the Made by Hand Show on Saturday November 5, 2011 from 11:00 - 7:00 pm at the International Center here in Toronto. This is the inagural event for the show and it promises to be an exciting event with over 150 artisans participating.

Here is the link to more information. http://www.madebyhandshow.com/

Parking is free and admission is free with the flyer. You can print it off on the show's home page.
Here is the QR code for the show:


If you are attending please stop buy and say Hi!


Saturday, September 17, 2011

It's Bead Soup Blog Party Time Baby!

Today is the day of the big reveal for the over 300 of us who have participated in Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party. Lori took on the daunting task of pairing up 362 jewellery designers in a global bead exchage.  Participants were encouraged to go out of their comfort zones to create something with the beads their partner sent them.  My partner Tamara sent me these lovelies!!!


One gorgeous mix, don't you think?  I thought alot about what I wanted to make, and wanted to create something that I have never tried before. Or at least, try do things a little differently. 

So here is my big reveal.... Are you ready??!!!!

I created four pieces of jewellery from Tamara's stash. Here is the first one.


I wire crocheted with artistic wire five strands of pearls, abalone beads, silver findings, mother of pearl beads and crystals. I added some of turquoise tube beads from my own stash to complement the colors in the abalone and pearls. The star of the show is that beautiful abalone focal bead, which I embellished with sterling silver wire and attached it to the necklace.  Although I have wire crocheted necklaces before, I have never attempted to use such different shapes of beads, and I have never added a focal bead before to my necklaces.  Here are some more pictures.....





 
Creating the next piece did take me out of my comfort zone. I made a brooch!



I wrapped the beads with artistic wire and attached a pin bar to the back. I used Tamara's beads, and added a turquoise bead and some tiny pacific opal swarovski crystals.



I was pretty pleased with my first attempt at a brooch. 

I made another necklace. Tamara sent me a gorgeous gun metal and crystal toggle clasp which was too pretty to be hidden at the back of the neck.  This is what I made......



I used an abalone shell which I embellished with sterling silver swirl and attached it to one end of the toggle, along with a and a sterling chain. More of the bead mix dangles from the chain. By the way- do you like my busty mannequin?

  
The last piece I created was a pair of earrings. I used some of the abalone shells, wrapped them with sterling silver and suspended them from a silver chain.  The challenge for me was that these shells had two holes in them. I created the swirl, then ran the wire up the back and made a wrapped loop.






So that's what I made with my soup sent by my new beading friend Tamara!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Old School Banana Cake

Today I am supposed to be working at home on prepping for classes for next week. However, being the procrastinator that I am, I did just about everything but. Some days I'd rather clean a bathroom then revise powerpoints.

I was trying to decide what do instead of school work when a fruit fly came whizzing by my face and I thought AHA! I am going to use up all those overripe bananas sitting on my kitchen island and bake something. I love to bake, but really haven't done much over the past few years except on holidays. Time contraints and concerns over weight gain have caused me to cut back on an activity I really enjoy.

I haven't made a banana cake in probably a few years, so the decision was made. Now I had to find the recipe.  I grabbed my bag of recipes and starting sorting through them. Not only am I procrastinator but also somewhat disorderly in certain areas of my life. 

 One of these days I keep telling myself I am going to organize them all and put them in a binder. Yeah, right.
It took more than one pass through this mess to actually find it. I was starting to get upset because this was the one from my Mom.  It's very old. I know I could easily find another recipe, however this is the one I always make.

I finally found it, and it was looking pretty worse for wear.



Next I had to find the frosting recipe. The best frosting for banana cake is buttercream.


This is looking rougher than the cake recipe!  Here is the recipe written out so you don't have to stare at these old crappy looking recipe cards and try and figure it out.

Old School Banana Cake

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F
2 1\2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 2\3 cup of sugar
1 1\4 tsp. of baking soda
1 tsp. of salt

Mix all of the above in a large bowl
Add:
2\3 cup of soft shortening
2\3 cup of buttermilk or subsitute with scant 2\3 cup of milk and 1 tbs. lemon juice
1 1\4 cups mashed ripe bananas
2 large eggs

Beat for  2 minutes. Pour into either a 9 x 13 pan or into 2 cake pans.
Bake 30-40 minutes.

Butter Cream Frosting
 1 cup of sugar
1\2 cup of butter softened
1\2 cup of soft shortening
Cream above ingredients in a large bowl
Add:
3\4 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Beat again. If you want a thicker consistency add approximately 1- 1 1\2 tsp of flour and continue beating.

Here is the cake fresh out of the oven.





And here is the cake after frosting!



 This recipe is for hard core cake lovers. If you are looking for anything remotely healthy then you should pass on this recipe. Check out the amount of shortening (aka grease) and butter in this cake. That's what makes it taste so good!




Monday, September 5, 2011

Twisted

I have a new listing in my Etsy store.  A gold twisted bead and crystal necklace. Take a look:

Gold and crystal twisted bead necklace

I created the beads using around 2 1\2 feet of 14k 18 gauge gold filled wire.

Gold and crystal twisted bead necklace

The beads are around 1 1\2" in length and just shy of a 1\2" wide.

Gold and crystal twisted bead necklace

I measured and cut approximately 2 1\2 feet of wire. I made a wrapped loop at one end of the wire, wrapping around the wire twice.  I measured 1 1\2" down the wire and made another wrapped loop at the other end. I wrapped around the loop twice, then taking the and of the wire, I started wrapping loosely along the length of the bead, then began to wrap  up and down in a chaotic pattern.  I tucked the end of the wire inside the "chaos". 

Gold and crystal twisted bead necklace

The beads have a nice weight to them. Combined with the ab crystals I think it looks good!
In the future ( notice I am not  committing to a specific date!) I will post a picture tutorial on how to make twisted beads.  Ok. Now that I have said this, I guess I'll have to follow through!


Monday, August 29, 2011

Sold!

Again I was fortunate enough to have some sales in my etsy shop last week.

Rock crystal quartz and sterling silver earrings....



Custom listing for 4 pairs of these pearl and sterling silver wire wrapped earrings. These earrings are my best sellers!

Custom order for Bruno272



Custom order for Bruno272

Well my vacation is officially over and it's back to the day job. It's been a great summer here in southern Ontario. It seems to have gone by in a heartbeat.

Monday, August 22, 2011

New listings

Here are some new listings currently for sale in my Etsy shop:


Sunstone and sterling silver wire wrapped hoop earrings



Aquamarine and pearl gold wire wrapped earrings. I love the subtle color in the aquamarine stones!

Aquamarine and pearl gold wire wrapped stud earrings



Sterling silver multi strand chain bracelet


Crystal and gold necklace. This was inspired by the necklace Carrie Bradshaw wore in one of the last episodes of Sex and the City. Check out my new "model!" She is made of twine and has quite the body on her. I call her Mini-Me!!

Crystal and gold necklace inspired by Carrie Sex in the City

Thanks for looking!

My Soup has arrived!

Check it out!! My beads arrived last week from my Bead Soup Blog Party partner Tamara.


What a great combination!! I will be posting what I have made with these on September 17.  Stay tuned!

Monday, August 15, 2011

It's Party Time!!

I am excited to be participating in the September 2011 Bead Soup Blog Party. What is it you ask? It's the creation of Lori Anderson.

Bead Soup Blog Party

Jewellery designers are paired with a partner and send each other beads, including a focal and a clasp to create something special. The big reveal will take place on September 17 on our blogs. Your partner is not supposed to know what you are sending in advance. However, you can post a "teaser" picture. 

My partner is Tamara Soper and here is the link to her blog. http://handcraftedbaubles.blogspot.com/  Tamara is one crafty woman! Not only does she make beautiful jewellery, she makes beautiful cards as well. Her blog also includes some yummy looking recipes! Check it out.
Here are my teaser pics:

 The findings.......



The Soup fixins'............


I am looking forward to seeing everyone's Soup on September 17.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Death defied x 3. PSA- The Heimlich Maneuver

I've just returned from my vacation in Florida visiting family and staying at my sisters. One morning my husband and I were alone having breakfast and I choked on a piece of  partially burnt toast. I was doing what I normally do- talking and eating at the same time, and was about half way into my toast when I felt a piece get sucked into my trachea.

If you have never had an upper airway obstruction let me tell you that it is a horrible, frightful experience. Unfortunately, this was the third time this has happened to me.  And I am  hoping that it will never happen to me again.

I was pretty calm, I must admit, because this time I wasn't alone like the other two times, and I was pretty confident my husband would be able to dislodge the stinking piece of toast and I wouldn't have to do it myself.

I started coughing immediately. Nothing moved. I coughed harder, and tried to breathe in but no air was going in.  By this time my husband had put aside his paper and asked if I was ok.  I don't remember if I clutched my throat with two hands- which is the universal signal for choking- but I think I started waving my hands and shaking my head  which meant, NO I AM NOT OK!!!!


My husband stood up and I pulled him behind me and grabbed his hands and showed him how to make fists and placed them under my sternum (breast bone for all you non-medical people) and pulled them quickly into my abdomen. He figured out what to do pretty quick, and after several thrusts I finally coughed that lethal piece of bread out into my sisters kitchen sink.  While he was performing the thrusts and nothing was moving I was looking at the phone thinking to myself that if he called 911, they would never get there in time.

When it was over, I stayed hunched over the sink for a few minutes sucking in air. And I continued to cough. It took a few minutes to recover. My husband said he was very worried because I turned purple immediately.

My throat was sore for several days. And I coughed quite a bit all the rest of that day.  So the lesson here is don't talk and eat at the same time. Especially toast.


If I had been alone, I probably would have been able to save myself as I have successfully given myself the Heimlich maneuver twice before I am sorry to say.

Once was when I swallowed a pill. I have trouble swallowing pills. I am not one of those people who can toss a handful in their mouth and take a swig of water and down they go.  I have to place them in the back of my throat and give them a little shove to go down. TMI I know. I ended up ramming up against the granite countertop and after a couple of times the pill popped out in the sink. My husband was home at the time, but he was in another room and didn't hear me try and call for help.

The other time I was driving and eating raw baby carrots at the same time. I wasn't talking at the same time though. Again, it went down the wrong way, I started to choke and cough, and when I realized nothing was coming up, I knew what I had to do.  I was pretty calm during all of this. I am a nurse and knew I had to stay focused and get rid of the carrot or it wouldn't be long that I would go unconscious.

I parked the car at the side of the road, went to the back of the car, unbuttoned my coat (it was winter) and felt for the tip of the sternum, the xiphoid process, and positioned myself, and rammed my abdomen against the spoiler as hard as I could. I knew I only had a few minutes and I was thinking that if I got the position wrong, what's a few cracked ribs vs. dying by the side of the road. After about two tries the carrots came flying out.


I kind of just hunched over the back of the car till I caught my breath and then went back to the car and sat there for awhile before driving home.

I was on a fairly busy road, and there were all kinds of cars whizzing by, but no one stopped. Not even when I was sprawled out on the back of the car trying to catch my breath. Nice huh?

If you have never had CPR traning or taking a lifesaving course you need to check out this video on how to perform the Heimlich maneuver. It shows you how to perform it on a choking individual, and on yourself. Pretty important information.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Summer Sales

What a summer it has been here in southern Ontario! Nothing to complain about.

Here are some items that recently sold in my Etsy Shop....

White crackle crystal quartz stud earrings
 White crackle crystal quartz sterling silver wire wrapped post earrings

Sterling silver wire wrapped martini glass pendant

Sterling silver wire wrapped martini pendant. Bottoms Up!!! BTW, I love martini's. Gin. Straight up. Green olives. Yum! One of my best friends calls them panty-removers!

Dragon's Vein Jasper and Silver Earrings

Dragon's vein jasper and sterling silver earrings.


Thanks for looking and reading! Enjoy the rest of the summer.





Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Busy, busy, busy

I have some blogging to do for sure. Lots of things have been happening to keep me occupied and out of trouble.  In the meantime I have had some sales in both my Artfire and ETSY shop.

Sold!!
Red coral, black onyx and glass earrings

Red coral, black onyx and glass earrings


Sold!!!

Bali beads and sterling silver earrings

Bali Bead Silver Drops

Sold!!
Lapus Lazuli and sterling silver post earrings
Lapis Lazuli and sterling silver wire wrapped post earrings

Sold!!!

Tiger Eye and sterling silver wire wrapped post earrings
Tiger Eye and Sterling Silver Earrings


Sold!!

Starfish & Pearl sterling silver anklet

Starfish and pearls anklet


Sold on Artfire!!
Copper Hoop earrings

Copper hoop earrings

I am grateful to my clients for visiting my shops! Their business is much appreciated.  Enjoy what's left of the weekend!