Feb 28, 2015

Hint of Mint Challenge

I am addicted to the challenges put on by Lisa Lodge of Pine Ridge Treasures!  She sends us out kits that are packed with beads and posts a picture in the group to inspire us.

And see what I mean when I say packed with beads?  Most of these beads are from ZNetShows which happens to be my favorite supplier for crystals and sea glass.  They also have great glass pearls.  I just love the fact that Lisa sends out more then I end up using for the challenges so I have extras for other projects.  I didn't end up using any of the brass this time around because this color seemed to want silver findings.

I picked up this shamrock from Sheryl of Metapolies a while back because I liked the look of it.  Besides aren't four leaf clovers supposed to be lucky.  When my goodies for this challenge came in, I just knew that I wanted to use them together.  Perfect to celebrate spring and St.Patty's, this necklace is hand-knotted with glass pearls, sea glass and Tiaria crystal.  It is finished up with a sterling silver clasp. This necklace is available in my store.

Both pairs of these earrings use more beads from the kit along with pewter charms and sterling silver earwires.   They will be part of the package that I am planning to donate to Ears To You.
Feb 27, 2015


  • Just had to share a teaser pic for the beads that I sent to my partner Susan Kennedy of Sue's Beads.  I had a lot of fun playing with effects on this one.  It shows a bit more of the beads then suggested but since Sue has already received then, all is good.
  • Goodness, I miss having good tea at my fingertips when I am working in the office.  Since I am such a tea snob, I just don't drink tea when I am there which I am sure my body is loving since I am drinking so much water.  I do add Mio since I don't care for the taste of water in the office but I am not inhaling as much caffiene.

  • I finally decided on my word or words for the Art of Awareness blog hop.  The color was easy since both myself and my husband have fibromyalgia but the word was more difficult.  I finally decided on HOME because my house is what gets me up in the morning on the days when my fibro makes it difficult.  The beads are from Swoondimples (so is the pic).
  • There is something wrong with needing to mow the grass in February.  As I was leaving for work the other day, I noticed that I am the only one in the neighborhood that hasn't.  I just hate the idea of having to start that chore so early in the year.  I love my house but there are things that I can do without like yard work.  Whatever happened to kids around the neighborhood that mow yards for some extra cash?
  • Why are men so stubborn?  My husband fell down the stairs yesterday and hurt his back.  Of course, I can convince him to go in to  the doctor.  Instead  I get to hear him moan and groan.  <sigh>
Feb 25, 2015

Book Review: When

Maddie Fynn is a shy high school junior, cursed with an eerie intuitive ability: she sees a series of unique digits hovering above the foreheads of each person she encounters. Her earliest memories are marked by these numbers, but it takes her father’s premature death for Maddie and her family to realize that these mysterious digits are actually death dates, and just like birthdays, everyone has one.

Forced by her alcoholic mother to use her ability to make extra money, Maddie identifies the quickly approaching death date of one client's young son, but because her ability only allows her to see the when and not the how, she’s unable to offer any more insight. When the boy goes missing on that exact date, law enforcement turns to Maddie.

Soon, Maddie is entangled in a homicide investigation, and more young people disappear and are later found murdered. A suspect for the investigation, a target for the murderer, and attracting the attentions of a mysterious young admirer who may be connected to it all, Maddie's whole existence is about to be turned upside down. Can she right things before it's too late?
* * * * * *
Any time a book brings tears to my eyes, I figure that it has be a winner.  That means that I became so invested in the characters that I really cared about them.  I loved Maddie but what made her really real to me was her alcoholic mother.  Her experiences made me recall growing up with my mother.  Her best friend, Stubby, also reminded me a lot of the friends I had and some that I still have.
WHEN is what happens when a young adult novel is done right.  The story will keep you entranced and the villain was a surprise.  It is one that that will delight readers of all ages. I recommend this to any of my readers who enjoy suspense and young adult.
Feb 23, 2015

New Earrings Monday '15: Weeks 7 & 8

Welcome back to New Earrings Monday!  Sarajo of SJ Designs came up with the wonderful idea to make at least one pair of earrings every week and then to share them every second Monday.  I jumped onto the bandwagon a bit late but it has encouraged me to make up some earrings.

I picked up some delightful charms from JKD Studios (which is having sale on all kinds of destash and art beads) which has a real Art Deco feel to them.  I combined them with lapis fossil coral beads and magnesite to make this pair of earrings.  I am still debating whether I am going to put these up for sale or keep them for myself as I love the colors.  (edited to add:  I am actually going to add them to the prize package for Spring Fashionista 2015!)

These earrings feature lotus flower charms from Kristi Bowman, beautiful garnets in a rich marsala color and copper handmade findings.  You can find them up at Shaiha Designs.

To check out all the other beautiful pairs of earrings and to learn more about this biweekly challenge, just click here.
Feb 21, 2015

Winter Creative Spark

One of things that I am the proudest of when it comes to my jewelry is the fact that I am part of the design team for ZNetShows.  They offer such wonderful cultured sea glass, Chinese crystal beads and glass pearls as well as semi-precious gemstone beads.

They are a great company to work with and for.  Part of the fun is designing for the quarterly Creative Sparks magazine and the winter issue is now available for your enjoyment.  Inside you will find some of my designs as well as ones from the other designers who are part of the team.

Blogger is being a bit buggy so it won't let me embed the issue so just click on the cover above to be taken to the e-mag to be inspired.
Feb 20, 2015


Checking out Word for my iPhone to see if it will help me keep up on my Ramblings posts. I downloaded the Blogger app but it doesn't give me the formatting options I like. Let's see how typing it up in Word and pasting it works. 
Finally got my tax return. For 2013. Amazing how slow the IRS can be when they want. It wasn't a lot and I had finally thrown up my hands and written it off. So it was a very pleasant surprise that let me catch up on some bills. 
It's just wrong when a massage and the a visit to the doctor for a physical wipes me out. 
If this Word works out, I will be able to start working on editing Saje’s book. I do object to having to pay a monthly fee to get access to the features I need when I have already paid for Office 2013. 
Saje has taking to baking in the evenings. I fall asleep to sweet aromas and wake up to goodies. If I don't watch it, I will gain weight.  
I have been chatting with my partner, Sue Kennedy, for the upcoming Swap N Hop. This is going to be so much fun because she is one of my favorite bead artists. 
Why is it that customers seem to think that screaming at me is going to encourage anyone to out of their way to help them?  I will do my best to help people that are pleasant, but get nasty and I am not apt to offer anything extra. 
And why do screamers all seem to hit on the same day?  

Feb 19, 2015

Marsala Valentin Challenge

I absolute love Andrew Thornton monthly challenges and this one is no exception.  In fact, this one has been my favorite even though before I would have said that I am no fan of red.  These gorgeous beads quickly changed my mind and they have been sneaking into designs that I am been making for other challenges also.

 Those are the beads that I was sent and I admit to fondling that carved jade beads more then once.  I didn't manage to come up with a design that would pay proper homage to it yet but it will be coming.  And those little heart charms that Andrew made are so darling.

As soon as I saw those charms, I just knew that my main focus for this challenge would be earrings.  This pair of earrings is lightweight and has a lot of movement.  And since Marsala is the color of the year, they are perfect to wear anytime.  They are up for sale at Shaiha Designs.

These next two pairs are ones created using some of the beads that were part of the luxury mix that Andrew always includes.   Both of these pairs will be donated to Ears To You. 

And since I did mention that parts of this kit have been sneaking into my designs, I wanted to show you where.  The dangles on the first necklace and the gorgeous sari silk on the second were part of my kit.  I am so glad that these kits are always so generous.

Now there are a few of us that stepped up to the plate and took this challenge so be sure to check out
what they made.  I am really looking forward to seeing how everyone else used that yummy carved jade.

Feb 18, 2015

A Look Back.

One thing I have found as I get older is that time tends to run together.  I will start thinking about things in the past and realize that the event happened years in the past.  I couldn't really tell what I was up to say last February and then it occurred to me that I could just look back in my blog.

Want to look back with me?  Let's see...last February I posted 13 times.  I guess that I do tend to slow down in the winter though I was still going strong in the Year of Jewelry Project

For sale.

And it looks like that is when I started to play with patinas.  I haven't gone much further with them because I tend to be impatient.  When I sit down to play, I want everything to be ready to use.  I will get an idea that requires using patina, sit down and do it real quick and by the time it dries, I have forgotten the idea.  That beautiful starfish above is from Patina Queen.  Yep.  It was ready to use.

I looks like I was listening to an audio book by Lisa Gardner, Touch and Go.  This rather amused me as I said in my review that I wanted to listen to more book featuring the main character.    I just started listening to Love You More which is Tessa's story.  Not quite sure why it has taken me a year though.

Looks like I finished the month off with patina as part of a blog hop.  I was lucky enough to win that gorgeous medallion and I got to play with patina.  Yes you heard that right.  I actually sat down and played with the inks.  I really enjoyed it too and I do try to plan days to do nothing but that but I get down to my studio and those beads call my name.

It doesn't look like I have started with my weekly ramblings yet which will make it easier to see what else was going on during a month.  It just occurred to me that my ramblings is actually taking this blog back to its roots as I started it as a journal for myself.  Now it is so many things.  A place to share reviews on books I have had the opportunity to read, showing off my jewelry and just a way to connect to others.  But it should still be a journal.
Feb 17, 2015

Book Review: Seeker

Quin Kincaid has been put through years of brutal training for what she thinks is the noble purpose of becoming a revered ‘Seeker’.

Only when it’s too late does she discover she will be using her new-found knowledge and training to become an assassin. Quin's new role will take her around the globe, from a remote estate in Scotland to a bustling, futuristic Hong Kong where the past she thought she had escaped will finally catch up with her.

* * * * *

This book is set on a grand scope starting out in a setting that one would think was medieval then slides onto to a steampunk feel and  then leaps into a futuristic Hong Kong.  It is almost enough to make one dizzy.  In fact, it did make me dizzy and once I would start to get back into the tale, there would be yet another change.

I also had an issue keeping track of the time as it passed and that is something that absolutely drives me nuts.  Now I don't want you to think that SEEKER was poorly written.  It wasn't and I absolutely loved some of the descriptive scenes but it all felt too disjointed for me to really enjoy the book.  Of course, this is just my opinion and someone else is just as apt to adore this book. 

Feb 15, 2015

Art Bead Scene February Challenge

Amapolas, 1913
Illustration published in "News of Spring and Other Nature Studies
By Edward Julius Detmold
Watercolor, 208 by 124mm

I just love the picture chosen for our inspiration this month with all of its lovely reds, pinks and cream.  There also bits of green and purple which happens to be one of my favorite color combos but I decided to focus on the reds/pinks this month mainly because that is a color that I don't tend to use a lot.  Besides it is February.

I don't tend to buy totally into the February theme with the hearts and roses but as I was digging through my art beads, I ran across this wonderful focal from Marla's Mud.  And there were some rose beads to go with it!  How could I resist?

And I think that I am jumping onto the textile wagon.  Band wagon that is.   Isn't that a wonderful sari silk?  It was actually part of a kit that I received from Andrew Thornton for a challenge this Thursday but again I couldn't resist.  It was just the right color.

But you really came here to check out the art bead.  How about a close up?  Isn't the color glorious?  And just look at all the detail.

This necklace will be one of the prizes I will be giving away in the Spring Fashionista coming up next month so I hope you will come back to enter for a chance to win it.  And I hope that everyone had a great Valentine's Day.

Feb 13, 2015


  • I have been working in the office since the beginning of February.  Now I enjoy working in the call center as there is so much energy there and I get a chance to listen to my co-workers which sparks all kinds of new ideas.  I work in sales so new ideas and new ways to position products is always good especially as I am not naturally a talker. 
  • The weather is being so strange.  There is a tree at the back of the parking lot which is growing fruit already.  I worry about it because I am sure that we are going to get another freeze.
  • My husband got some good news this week and I can't believe how much lighter the atmosphere is.  Tension that I didn't realize was there is now gone.
  • I have to admit though that I miss working from home because I have access to my laptop when it is slow.  This is when I tend to catch up on my blogs and email so I am sorry if you are waiting for a reply.  This is also when I tend to put up blog posts.

Feb 11, 2015

Swap N Hop: Meet My Partner

I love hops especially ones where you are assigned a partner and you swap goodies to work with.  I really enjoy the anticipation that these type of hops bring as you wait to find out who your partner is, just what they are going to send you and just what they make with what you send them.  Then there is the challenge of designing with the goodies that they send you.

Today my partner was announced and I was really stoked to find out that it is Sue Kennedy of Sue Beads!  I have to admit to a weakness for Sue's beads especially her Chicklets. 

Aren't they just yummy?  One of the necklaces that I tend to wear the most features these fun beads.

Sue also designs beautiful jewelry when one can get her away from her torch. 

I am sure that you can see why I am so excited to have Sue as my partner.  Now to go put together a stash of beads to send to her.  Hmmmm....something outside of her usual style.  Should be fun.
Feb 9, 2015

New Earrings Monday '15: Weeks 5 & 6

I have been trying to decide on just what charity I was going to support this year with my jewelry.  I really like what Ears To You stands for which is to provide cancer patients with a moment of hope and joy by providing them with earrings but I was wavering because they were the charity that I helped last year.

What finally made up my mind to continue was a challenge put out by Sarajo of SJ Designs to make one pair of earrings a week in 2015.  I am starting a bit late but better late then never.  My goal is make a pair a week for the rest of the year and to donate at least 30 pairs to Ears To You.  Now if you are counting, I will be making more than 30 pairs so I will be adding some of them to Shaiha Designs.

For this first pair, I used Czech glass roses and pewter stampings (both stampings are the same, I just wanted to show off both sides).  Since Valentine's Day is coming up, I wanted to make a pair to pay tribute to this time of year.  This pair is being donated.

This next pair features a pair of handmade dragonfly tiles from one of my favorite shop, Asbury Avenue Designs.  I paired them with some beads that I had won from Blue Moon Beads.  This pair is mismatched slightly (did you catch that?).  It is also being donated. 

That's all that I have for today though if you would like some links to look at some more eye candy click here to see the other designers that have met the challenge.

Feb 6, 2015


  • Why is it that when I go to my library to check out some audio books, they have the third and the fifth in the series only?  These are audio books where the patron never gets a physical copy so it's not like the rest in the series were damaged.  I can get that perhaps they couldn't afford the whole series but in that case, why not get the first couple so the library patron can decide whether they want to continue the series by purchasing it.
  • Global warning might not be a fact in some minds but I do have to say that our weather has been unusual.  On Sunday we were up in the sixties and had the house open and airing out.  I enjoyed it but definite not the norm for January.
  • I always get a kick out of the fact that one of our cats is twice the size of two of the dogs.  Of course, it does mean they can all enjoy my husband's lap at the same time.
  •  According to the record of charges on my debit card, Vancouver Washington is now a part of Oregon.  Shouldn't someone advise us when the third largest city packs up and goes?
  • Why do people feel the need to use both Captcha and moderation.  One or the other should be sufficient.  Both is just overkill and highly annoying. 
  • Oh and this should have been published last Friday but I had to work in the office and didn't realize that I messed up until rather late in the evening.So this is apt to be longer.  Fair warning.
For Sale at Shaiha Designs

  • I have having a lot of fun playing in my studio and have actually gotten some new necklaces added to Shaiha Designs.