Thursday, December 23, 2010

More Santa ornaments.

My intentions to make beaded ornaments did not become a reality, so instead I am admiring a few on Etsy.

Christmas Creation

Santa Shop

I will, however, be fulfilling a little boy's wish to make gingerbread cookies for Santa!

Wishing you and yours a very merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


My mom made a lot of crafts with us. I always enjoyed working with anything with sparkle, like sequins and beads. Maybe that's why I find these Santa ornaments to be so charming.

From My Favorite Finds

Monday, December 6, 2010

Gingerbread House.

N was very busy yesterday.

The snow we received here over the weekend has put us in a holiday spirit!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Book Review: Chain and Bead Jewelry: Geometric Connections

Chain and Bead Jewelry: Geometric Connections by Scott David Plumlee has made me want to try some new techniques. Usually I focus bead stitching and wirework, but the chaine maille configurations in his book have me intrigued. The book is laid out well and the instructions cover each project thoroughly. I like that there a lot of photos, which will be helpful when I decide which project to make.

Here's more info from the back cover:

By adapting and building on the traditional Byzantine chain configuration, Scott creates unique collections of earrings, bracelets and necklaces, from three-sided Tripoli to the four-sided Quatrefoil to the five-sided Pentagon, plus innovative Organic designs, including fish, five- and six- pointed snowflakes, and a butterfly.
The beginning of the book contains a strong focus on technique and basic skills. It also covers how to make your own jump rings!

Since it's snowing here today, I'm leaning toward the six-pointed snowflake earrings.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Button jewelry.

I bought myself a lovely gift from Quench Metalworks. The way Jen combines vintage buttons with silver is beautiful.

I slowed down on blog posts because I recently started a new job. The commute is longer, but I really like the job. We're all still adjusting to the changes in the evening and weekend routines.

I'll probably need more button jewelry to wear to work.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Micro mosaics.

Today has brought a fondness for vintage micro mosaics.

I feel a new collection coming on.

Monday, September 13, 2010


I found some buttons at a local flea market this past weekend. I'm thinking about some ways to use them in jewelry, or maybe a stitching.

Would you agree that people who like beads are often fond of buttons as well?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Jewelry display.

Long ago I had an idea for a way to display some my jewelry with a printer's drawer because my jewelry armoire was close to overflowing. Then I got lazy and did nothing about it. Sometimes I would look at the drawers in antique shops, but I didn't want to spend $25 or more.

When I went to the Elkhorn Flea last month, I found this drawer and made an offer of $5. Sold!

I bought $8 worth of eye hooks at the hardware store. I had a hard time putting the eye hooks in, so I asked Mark for ideas on how make my dream a reality more easily. The next thing I knew he was working on my project for me. He's pretty fantastic.

This entire project cost $13. Because almost all of the jewelry in it is vintage or handmade, it looks like a piece of art.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cameo ring.

A recent acquisition from 6 Shadows Jewelry.

I love cameos. Sigh.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Indiana Dunes.

Mark and I had been to the Indiana Dunes years ago and thought it would be fun to bring N. When we first arrived, we decided to walk on a forest trail, saving the dunes for the next day.

This is Chellberg Farm, originally owned by Swedish immigrants. It's now part of the forest preserve we were exploring.

I would like to go back when the farm is open.

Further along the trail is the Bailly Cemetery. It was beautiful and peaceful.

Afterwards, we drove around Chesterton, Indiana and stumbled upon this cute restaurant. The food was great and it was a nice evening to sit outside and relax. I wish the antique store next door had been open.

The next day we got up early to go to the dunes.

It's amazing to see how many plants can flourish there.

N really enjoyed exploring and climbing up the dunes.

We went swimming in Lake Michigan after this walk. By the time we hiked the dunes again it was really, really, really hot. I could feel the sand burning my feet. It was about 1 p.m. when we left the dunes and beach. N and I were tired, hungry, and ready to head home.

Remember when I said there is no rest for the weary when you vacation with Mark? On the way home he wanted to make a stop for a "short hike" on another trail. N and I were less than enthusiastic, but we pressed on. The trails here were more grassy, with many areas having tall grass. We were trudging along when suddenly N started screaming. He'd been stung by something. Poor kid. We left there immediately to go get some long overdue lunch.

After lunch we drove back to our neck of the woods.

Next time I would want to focus on the beach at the dunes. The sand was very fine, making it feel soft on our feet. We had a lot of fun swimming and building sandcastles.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Starved Rock.

Last week we went to Starved Rock State Park. We'd heard about it for years and decided to hike the trails, spend the night in the lodge, hike a little more, and then head home. The trails are a bit more rugged than those by us, but the views were beautiful.

I thought the twisted roots of these trees were interesting.

The canyons are made of sandstone that crumbles easily. It was sad to see that people had carved their initials and other things into the sides of the canyons.

This photo was taken at the bottom of a canyon near a waterfall. You can see how the area is sandy, almost like a beach. Big chunks of sandstone were lying everywhere, presumably having fallen from the side of the canyon.

Mark and N enjoyed climbing around. N was really hoping to find a cave to explore.

This waterfall is on the trail to the St. Louise Canyon. If you visit the park website, you will see better photos of the waterfall.

The next morning we were on the trails again at 6:30. There is no rest for the weary when you vacation with Mark!

We saw several of these bright orange mushrooms.

N spotted this patch of tiny orange mushrooms.

A view of the Illinois River.

Someone was tired of having his photo taken!

Before going there, I had no idea why the park was called Starved Rock.
Starved Rock State Park derives its name from a Native American legend of injustice and retribution. In the 1760s, Pontiac, chief of the Ottawa tribe upriver from here, was slain by an Illiniwek while attending a tribal council in southern Illinois. According to the legend, during one of the battles that subsequently occurred to avenge his killing, a band of Illiniwek, under attack by a band of Potawatomi (allies of the Ottawa), sought refuge atop a 125-foot sandstone butte. The Ottawa and Potawatomi surrounded the bluff and held their ground until the hapless Illiniwek died of starvation- giving rise to the name "Starved Rock."
Here is a view from the top of the actual Starved Rock.

After we returned home, we decided to go to the Indiana Dunes. I'll show you photos from that trip next time.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Here's my latest favorite necklace, a vintage signed scrimshaw piece.

It can be hung on a chain or worn as a choker.

I love the delicacy of the carving and the leaves surrounding her. She looks slightly sad and I wonder what she's thinking.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Beaded flowers.

I love these beaded flowers on Etsy.

I hope you are having a lovely day.