Happy House Earrings

There are 100 reasons why I haven’t had time to work out any of the jewelry ideas swirling around in my head, but there are at least 101 reasons why I should.

On Sunday afternoon, I decided I would spend some time on an idea that I’d been thinking about for several weeks.  I wanted to see if I could cut glass.  I’d had all the components for a bit, but just hadn’t sat down to try it out.

I figured out how to take a 1″ by 3″ piece and cut it into four 3/4″ by 1″ pieces.  I wanted to test it out and see if they’d work into good soldered pendants, but as I looked at the four pieces of glass, the idea of earrings popped into my head.

I grabbed the nearest tablet of scrapbook paper, flipped back the cover, and viewed these cute little houses.  I selected a pair that coordinated, but did not match and tested it out.

I’m really pleased with how they turned out!

Happy House Earrings

I also added this cute little coordinating paper on the back, which I almost like better than the houses.  That gave me another idea, but I’ll have to save it for another day.

Happy House Back

I can’t tell you what a joy it was to take something from vision to finished piece in about an hour or so.  I need to be doing this more often.



Week 4: Rainy Weather

The theme for this week was weather.  I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.  I honestly say that without sarcasm ~ even during the wet winter months.

We moved here when I was five and I consider myself a native.  For the most part, I enjoy the rain.  I love the sunny breaks, but unless it’s that misty stuff that lasts all day long, I do not go nuts with the days of rain.

I wanted to capture the unusual freezing fog we’ve had the past couple weeks, but I never got out at the right time {this seems to be an issue for me}.  This evening, I walked out to our driveway in the rain and had the idea of trying to catch the drops falling in the puddles.

Rainy WeatherI really liked how this turned out.  I was only out for a couple minutes because I have no rain gear for my camera equipment {imagine that!}, but it was worth it.



Are You Ready to “Cook”?

It’s time for the lovely Lori Anderson’s 7th Bead Soup Blog Party sign up!

Sign-ups are going on right now until Sunday the 27th on Lori’s Bead Soup Blog Party page.  All you really have to do is have a blog and sign up for the party.

Bead Soup Blog Party 2

Lori will assign you a partner around February 3rd.  You will need to send your partner a focal piece, a nice clasp (no plated lobster claws) and some coordinating beads by February 10th.  That’s all there is to it.

Bead Soup Blog Party Reveal

Once you receive the ingredients from your partner, you have a few weeks to create your piece and then all of the participants will reveal on one of three different dates: March 30th, April 6th or April 13th.  You just decide on the date you prefer when you sign up.

Bead Soup Blog Party 1

I’ve participated in three different exchanges (pictured above) and it’s just so much fun every time ~ picking the ingredients, waiting for your fun package, figuring out what to make, seeing what your partner created, and hopping around for days (and days and days) to see what everyone else created.

It’s a seriously so fun and so creatively inspiring.

So what are you waiting for??? Sign up already!


Week 3: Brownies. Some Assembly Required.

The theme for this week was shallow depth-of-field, which is one of my very favorite ways to shoot.  Of course, under the pressure of coming up with a creative image, I couldn’t think of a single thing to set up.

On Friday afternoon, I was in the middle of making some fantastic brownies for a dear friend’s birthday.  I knew the ingredients all needed to go into the mix right away, so I had them lined up in stainless steel measuring cups ~ just like the cooking shows (minus the helpful assistants).  I had cream simmering on the stove and all ready for the chopped chocolate when inspiration struck!

When I looked down at my arrangement, I knew that chopped chocolate would make a lovely picture with the measuring cups in the background.  Since I only had a minute or two before my cream would be toast, I didn’t have a lot of time to get my settings absolutely correct.  I had to do quite a bit of tweaking in the post process, but I’m pleased with the results.

Week 3: Brownies

Here’s the recipe if you’re curious ~ Fudgy Toffee Brownies.  They were a hit, and I will absolutely make them again.  Next time, I think I’ll use a larger dish because they were very thick in the 8″ x 8″ pan.  I also made Vanilla Ice Cream, which was a lovely compliment to the rich chocolate.

And I can’t forget to give credit to my clever husband for my blog title.


Favorite Books of 2012: Fiction

Toward the end of 2012, I figured out I’d read something like 25 books in 2012.  I know for many that’s not much, but for me, I was pretty surprised.  The big thing for me in 2012 was the re-discovery of books on CD from my local library.  I ended up doing a lot of “reading” in the car.

I thought I’d share some of my favorites in three different categories.  I’ll start with Fiction.  I think it will make sense to break these into three posts ~ with a potential fourth for the books I’m looking forward to in 2013.

I've Got Your Number

Sophie Kinsella has consistently been a favorite of mine. I have really enjoyed the majority of her books, and one thing I like about her is her heroines are smart and her books always have a clever twist. I’ve Got Your Number was no exception.  In a rather unbelievable series of events, a young woman ends up with a cell phone that does not belong to her and manages to maintain hold of it for a few weeks.  You go along with the unlikely premise just to see how it’ll turn out.  Ms. Kinsella does not disappoint.


Starters by Lissa Price was conceived of during the Swine Flu outbreak a few years ago.  Ms. Price explored the idea of a world where the most at-risk receive immunization against a deadly outbreak.  The “healthy” are killed and the youngest and oldest of society survive.  Add the science fiction twist of the super-elderly being able to inhabit and rent the bodies of the young in order to recapture their youth for a short period of time and you have the makings of a very interesting story.  I was captured by both the idea and the execution.  Looking forward to the sequel for this one.

UltravioletUltraviolet by R. J. Anderson starts out with a young woman who awakens in an insane asylum and slowly regains her memory of how she ended up there.  She also has a very strange perspective of the world that makes you understand why she thinks she belongs there.  Not a perfect story, but I really empathized with her character and believed in her pain and confusion.

I also really enjoyed Matched and Crossed by Ally Condie, Divergent by Veronica Roth (but couldn’t get into Insurgent), Legend by Marie Lu, and Delirium by Lauren Oliver (but also couldn’t get into the sequel Pandemonium).

It may be terrible for me to say that some series I would almost rather see as a stand-alone.  I guess you can’t take a “utopian” society, turn it on it’s ear, and just leave it there.  But I think it takes some artful writing to successfully see that journey to completion.  Divergent and Delirium may end up getting there, but so far I’m not as gripped by the second books as I was by the first.

Stay tuned for my favorites in Non-Fiction, Jewelry, and the books I’m excited about so far this year.



Week 2: Airplane Silhouette

I’ve started following along with the Clickin Moms Project 52 group, and the theme for this week was a silhouette image.  I really wanted to get something outside, but I never seemed to get the coordination between time of day and willing subject.  It is dark here by 5 in the evening right now, so you better be motivated.

Today was the last day of the week and after several attempts at cooperation from my 8-year-old, his younger nearly 5-year-old brother wanted in on the action.  My plan was for him to just sit and look at his airplane.  He thought I was nuts.  Good thing he was right.  I’m really happy with how this shot turned out.  I am finding that I really, really like silhouette images.


ps ~ this image was shot with my *new camera* {insert image of my happy dance here}.  I have been pining for this camera for better than two years now…