Friday, July 30, 2010

Working on My New Website

I have been working around the clock on my new website and new products to put in my website, so please be patient as I finish up. The website is the biggest time sucker! I can work all day on it and when the day is over, I'm wondering what I got done. It doesn't help that my computer is working at the speed of an injured turtle.  The phone calls to Verizon and the Verizon technician who came out this morning were not helpful either.
Anyway, I am determined to finish this website asap. I've been wanting a new website for over a year and nothing's going to stop me now. It's looking good so far!

I also wanted to share a talented photographer that I met the other day who is also in my homeschooling co-op (yes, I am joining the ranks of weird, unsocialized homeschooling moms and their kids.  I'm totally kidding- we're so cool, I can't even stand it)  Anyway, here is a link to Lori Elizabeth's awesome blog and a picture of my daughter.  I am so impressed that she even got a good picture because Analee was so tired and crabby that day. Plus, she had broccoli in her mouth and a big scar on her forehead.  Lori works wonders!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Back From Vacation

I'm back from a wonderful vacation in Southern Louisiana visiting college friends and touring the swamps.  I am working on getting my new website put together and making new items for my shop. Hopefully it will be up and running a couple days.

Here's some pics of the vacation:

Sunday, July 18, 2010

New Jewerly and Rosary

I have closed my shop until I come back from vacation, but I want show you want I've been working on--and wearing!

This bracelet is my favorite! I just love wearing big, chunky beads on my arm. I put a glaze on all my jewelry so it really shines. 

This pendant comes in two different sizes- extra large, which is what I wore on my last post, and a small size is about an inch big. The big size comes with a long chain and the smaller comes with a 20" chain. 

This rosary is one of my newly upgraded rosaries with flex wire instead of fish line.  When I reopen my shop, all the rosaries will be made with the flexwire. 

This Lamb of God necklace I have been wearing a lot and have even gotten compliments on it from people of other faith denominations.  It is a very comfortable necklace that rests right below the collarbone.   I also made one with a rose cross on it and rose and leaf beads.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Almost Omelet

Today I was so excited to go to downtown Fredericksburg and see a giant 5,000 egg omelet being made right before my eyes. I was also excited about the possibility of eating this amazing eggy delight cooked by the French chefs of our sister city in, Frejus, France.  It almost happened. Well, at least for me. I'm pretty sure the omelet happened. It just happened without me.

Here's the mini parade of French chefs and U.S. chefs celebrated unity with food in giant proportions. Makes sense to me! If someone wanted to win me over, all they would have to do is make me some good food and I'm pretty sure I would instantly be their best friend.

Here's are the chefs prepping the giant pan with gallons of oil and pounds of butter.

Next I saw them add a few pounds of onions and green peppers. Look at those huge paddles! I was really looking forward to the big flip! But sadly, after that, the kids and I could take no more of the heat and headed to the car.  If only I had known the omelet wasn't going to be made until 11:00am instead of 10:00am. That hour and a half we were in the heat and humidity really did us in. I even lasted a half an hour more than my friend who went with us.  Oh well, there's always next year and 5,000 more eggs.

Here's some pics of my cute downtown across the river from us.

Here's Liam's favorite stop: the toy store that has a train table set up inside!

Here's a pic of me and Liam and red-faced Analee being very uncomfortable in the heat.  We couldn't even fake a smile. Notice the sign behind us says, "Comfort Station". Hahaha! How ironic! In case you're wondering, there was not a dunking tank back there for those about to suffer a heat stroke, only some toilets.  Comfort? ha! Not what I had in mind.
I'm sure you're drooling over my gorgeous jewelry.  I had to wear my new creations that I made yesterday. They will be in my new shop along with my new upgraded rosaries. I won't be selling anything until after our vacay in Louisiana.  Unfortunately that means you'll have to wait almost two weeks before you can look so fabulous too!  Never fear, I will post some pics of my jewelry so you can get a better view of it before I leave.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Immaculate Heart Bead

My Immaculate Heart of Mary bead is finally finished! Below is the process I went through to make the bead and the finished product.  This bead turned out very well and I am super excited about all the possibilities for this bead...rosary centerpieces, bracelets, necklaces, chaplets...oh my! I can't wait to get started!

For more information about the Immaculate Heart of Mary and devotion to the Immaculate Heart, this is a good link.

The first step to making the Immaculate Heart of Mary was to make the rose. Click here to view my blog post showing step by step of making the rose.

The second part of making the Immaculate Heart bead was making the leaf. Click here to view my blog post showing step by step of making the leaf

After the leaves and the roses were made, I placed them together and made a sword. Then I added the red heart around the crown of roses and the sword.

I finished the heart shape and added the flames. The last step before rolling it out, is to add the background color to form a perfect circle.  Having a nice round circle is important for a good end product!

Here the bead is rolled out until it is the size I need for rosaries. 

Here is the bead after it is baked. When the bead is so small, much of the detail is lost, but if you love the details on this bead, then you will love the jewelry I am making that show off the bead in larger forms...stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

If Only Craft Stores Were Open All Night Long...

It's 10:00pm and I am sooooo close to being done with this bead, but I ran out of clay for the background color! If only craft stores were open all night long, if only I had someone at home who could watch the kids at night, and if only I weren't so sleep deprived, I would have had this bead done tonight.  Tomorrow I will attempt to mix this lovely antique sea glass color again to add more clay to the background. I need this bead to be perfectly round so it rolls out nicely.  Wish me luck!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Almost Finished!

I know I said yesterday that I was going to have the Immaculate Heart of Mary bead done for you to see today, but it just didn't happen.  Here's what I got finished so far.  I reduced the roses and the leaves from other day and added the red background and the sword through the heart. The sword piercing the heart is a symbol of Mary's sorrow that was foretold by the prophetess, Anna. "...and a sword of sorrow shall pierce your heart".  Mary's greatest sorrow is, of course, watching her son die the most cruel death.  I can't imagine how hard that was for her!

I sat down to try to finish the bead tonight, but being pregnant really limits me! I can't stay up late and work like I used to.  This evening I was also busy.  I went to a home for pregnant women in crisis situations called, "Mary's Shelter." It was craft night and I got the privilege of teaching them how to make some simple beads. They really enjoyed it! The women there are so great. I was so happy to meet them and I hope I can come back and show them how to string their beads into some rosaries.

Today was also Liam's first day of vacation Bible school. It was the first time he was physically dropped off at a strange place and left there for three hours. My husband had the honors of doing this because I had another sonogram.  He (my husband, not Liam!) almost cried after leaving him there. Is this what it feels like to drop kids off at day care for the first time??  It was hard for all of us, but I think tomorrow will go better.  Liam said he had fun, but too much fun because it was too long!

I hope the bead is finished tomorrow, although I probably will wait another day before slicing it. I will post a picture tomorrow and then another pic when it is sliced.

Give Away on Allison's Blog

Allison from Steadfast Spirit is having a give- away! She made these cute pouches that are actually used in a budget system from David Ramsey.  She is also giving away the book. I should have told her to make an extra pouch for the Clay Rosary! Hop on over to her blog for a chance to win!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Clay Leaf

Just for a little pizazz on the Immaculate Heart bead, I'm adding some green leaves to the rose crown.  I made a big leaf so I would plenty left over for leaf beads for jewelry and such.

Here's how I made the leaf.

First I blended many different colors of green and black to get a shadowy effect on the leafs.  Then I rolled them out and put them together to look like a big green bulls eye.

Next I formed the round bulls eye into a leaf shape and sliced it open. I put in a dark color for the center of the leaf. I then sliced more sections of the leaf to add the leaf veins. I took a picture of this, but it wouldn't download from the camera :(

Then I reduced the cane and here's what it looks like.  This is much bigger than what you will see in the finished product, so you will get a more blended effect when you look at the Immaculate Heart bead...tomorrow!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Clay Rose for Mary

I am making an Immaculate Heart of Mary bead, but first, I needed to make a rose for the crown of roses.  I decided to upgrade my simple roses to a little more sophisticated look.  Let me know what you think.

First I started mixing the many shades of rose that I need for the rose. Since Mary's heart is going to be red, I need a slightly lighter color for the rose.  I chose this dusty rose color.
Believe it or not, this process took about 85% of the time to make the whole bead. 

Then I rolled out each color and layed them on top of each other so I could slice off the "petals" one by one.

 I started with the inside of the rose and worked my way out.  Here is the inside of the rose. 

Not too much later, I was done with the rest of the rose by putting the petals on one by one.  When the rose gets smaller, the shades of rose with blend together better than what you see now.

Now I just have to fill in the outside of the rose with the background color.  Then I can get started on my Immaculate Heart bead.  I will use the other half of the rose for other beads that can be used on the rosary or jewelry.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Five Years and Counting...

Today my husband and I have been married for five years.  Five of the best years of my life! Here are five things I have learned from my husband:
  1. An appreciation for Lord of the Rings and the X- Men trilogies.  Having read the book and the comics, Eric happily fills me on the details while we watch these movies.
  2. Good beer can be made in a plastic container in your basement (much to my surprise!) Eric loves his Mr. Beer making kits and has made some really good brews- and some not so good ones.
  3. Find joy in all things and if it's not there, make it! - from the everyday circumstances to making time to be silly,  my husband has brought me so much joy and taught me how to do the same. 
  4. A good marriage is not something that simply is (or is not)- you have to work at it every day.  Eric works very hard on being the husband I need him to be and I try to do the same for him.
  5. The best things in life are not only free, but freely given in abundance.  Eric has taught me about about God's love and how to be a generous lover by his own example. 
I thank God for my spouse and I am looking forward to the next five years (and 40 years after that) because I know they just keep getting better!

    Sunday, July 4, 2010

    Skinkin' Cool!

    On several occasions,  I have seen this weird looking lizard/salamander/snake type thing dart in and around our front step.  New to Virginia, I didn't think we had lizards, so I was guessing it was a salamander, but it didn't look wettish and it moved like a snake.  I also saw a tiny one with a blue tail! I finally looked it up and discovered it was a skink- a kind of lizard.  The young skinks lose their tails when they get older, and the bright blue color is to distract predators. Cool, huh? I wish I could get a photo of one, but they move super fast. This photo I found from the Internet. When the blue tailed skink gets older and loses it's blue tail, it's called a five-lined skink.

    Saturday, July 3, 2010

    Rosary Give Away from the Etsy Rosary Guild Team

    Click on the link above to enter a contest to win this rosary made by Julie Harrison, one of my Etsy Guild team members.

    I'm Soooo Comical ;)

    I didn't write this caption, but I was the runner-up. Click on the link or read below for my caption.

    Coming in first in our Weekly Challenge with 122 votes is Clinton Raines of Bealeton.  Clinton wins the original art with his caption inked in by me along with having it published in Saturday’s Free Lance-Star on page two.
    Coming in second with 71 votes is Sarah Harkins of Fredericksburg who submitted “Blackened fish for dinner again?! This is what I meant by wanting to get my life back!”.
    Coming in third with 48 votes is Steve Smith of Caroline who submitted “Fish oil is healthy. There must be a way to spin this yet”.
    Coming in fourth with 26 votes is Kilian Dineen of South Riding. who submitted “Bait? Oh, the usual: worms, minnows, a little Dawn dishwashing liquid ”.

    I didn't care about the voting, but when I saw my name as a runner-up in this week's paper, I wished I had asked for a few pity votes or even voted for myself! It would have been cool to see my caption with the cartoon...Oh well.