Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Holiday! It. Would. Be. So. Grea-eat!

Seriously, my holidays have been busy, busy, BU-ZY! You? I honestly thought I'd get a whole lot more relaxing done, but so far, the only ones that are really enjoying a 'break', are DH (Darling Husband) and LH (Little Highness). Well, besides those two (two too few!) shopping excursions I've been on with the charming Miz M, I really haven't had time to myself.

We entertained our neighbors, Gary, Rebeca and Sophia on Christmas night. I went all out and created a fantastic (if I do say so myself...) turkey dinner. My only problem was the teenie tiny stove I've got. There was no way I was going to get a 10 pound turkey in it AND manage to oven roast the ham and the sweet potatoes... So, I seasoned and stuffed the bird, and delivered it to Rebeca, who kindly followed my instructions on the baking part, and it came out perfect. I prepared my sweet potatoes the way I usually do: 1" thick slices, toss in a large bowl with olive oil, then coat with rosemary, fresh ground pepper, and some seasoned sea salt: YUM! (In case you feel like trying them, you lay them flat on a baking sheet, and bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes, turn them over, and bake for an additional 12 minutes. Times may vary according to ovens... Trust me, you'll LOVE them!).

I'm not ashamed to say that I was SPOILED ROTTEN this year :D Yes, Santa was good to me. I got socks, 'cause I LOVE socks! I got an ironing board, I got tools, I got yarn, I got 6 lbs crystal FIRELINE! (woot!) And that was just from HUBBY! I got fantastic 450 count cotton sheets, a billfold, a cookbook for my crock pot, a gorgeous crystal ornament and a decorative candle holder from Nona and M, and I got myself quite a few other little trinkets. ;) I really was spoiled. I must have done something really really good this year to deserve so much!

The weather here is positively preposterous. One week you think you're in the Arctic, the next, it's balmy southern weather... Go figure! Those 24" of snow we got last week are all but gone now, leaving way to torrential downpours and possible floods all over the neighborhood. One neighbor's sump pump has been going non-stop since Friday... But, so far, we're pretty lucky. No flooding on our property, and we're vigilant about going out there as soon as there's a lot of melting or raining going on, and clear any water that seems to have a difficult time draining. The warmer days also gave the furnace a nice break.

So, I'm getting ready for the new year. I've got a few possible prospects for Posh Parties, so I've got to get busy and make some pieces. I was contacted by Tom, the photographer I've been modeling for (have I mentioned that before?), and he's willing to redo some of my photos for the site, as I really think the necklaces would be better displayed on a model. And since I can't afford a model right now, I guess it'll have to be me...

I've been working on some new earring styles, and am looking forward to adding these to the site as well, and making more and more and more Pearl Blossoms. They're popular, and sell well, so, I think that always having a few of them on hand will be ideal. I took a better shot of my wall-mounted earring display to show you. I'm so happy I scored two of them for myself. I can't wait for my office to be completed so I can just set them up.

And lucky me, I even snagged a matching table-top one. This will help for when I've got extra pieces to display when I'm at home, or, just to bring along as an extra table display when I go to shows.

A closer look of the display in action.
My new "Goddess" earring.

And check it out! Right before Christmas, I found this other table-top piece, sold as a votive candle holder, I simply removed the candle cups, and voilà, a brand new display! :D

What else have I been up to? Oh yeah! I finally got the Celini Spiral under my belt! Here's my first attempt.
I'll be sending this one to DH's auntie in Montréal. I know she's just DYING to get it!

The new "Infinity Simplicity" set.
I've decided to splurge and use those gorgeous Peacock pearls hubby got me for our anniversary last year. I think the finished result is quite stunning.

I finished the blossom, and then embellished it further with some 13/0 charlottes in a gold wash transparent purple. (the same as in the matching earrings actually!)

Well, I think that's it for today folks. I'm running on empty right now. Have been busy babysitting two large black labs, a cat, an aquarium full of fish, and a budgie for my neighbors. And every single pet is a love sponge, where three times a day, at least one hour each time, is spent snuggling, loving, feeding, and generally looking out for them. Oh, and the LH in tow to boot! But, it'll all be worth it in the end.

Hope all is well with you all, and that Santa was just as good to you as he was to me.

Love and Light!


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Chasing Rainbows!

I was over at Me Her Now's blog today, and peaked at her rainbow. Thought I'd share my own with you, and to tell you the truth, it's pretty darn accurate. Well, I think is is...

Your Rainbow

Your rainbow is intensely shaded green, violet, and white.

What is says about you: You are a contemplative person. You appreciate beauty and craftsmanship. You are patient and will keep trying to understand something until you've mastered it. Those around you admire your fresh outlook and vitality.

Find the colors of your rainbow at spacefem.com.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Staying in and [trying] to keep warm

Yes, it is officially Winter in good old Niagara Falls! Darling Husband had been tracking this storm on the weather network, keeping a close eye on the radar and satellite images looping over and over. We could see the mass coming our way, and knew we would be in for a bad one. They were calling for 20-30 cm of snow, winds of 50 to 70 km/hr, and, well, we all know just how cold it gets, no need for thermometers for this one. I believe we got closer to around 55 cm ( 18")

Ah, but I've been a good little Rat, and after stocking our pantry up for the last few weeks, I wasn't too worried at the prospect of being stuck in the house for a few days. What I HAD'NT thought of was the possibility of a power outage. Actually, neither of us had thought that through... Good thing I've got a steady stash of candles, and no shortage of lighters! Didn't hurt that we had access to a generator through one of D.H.'s friends either. ;) I was pleased that Little Highness, warmly cocooned in her favorite blankie, napped through most of the outage, which, luckily for us, lasted only a bit over 2 hours. But her reaction at the sight of so many "COOL CANDLES ALL OVER THE PLACE" upon her awakening was just as stressfull as dealing with the outage itself. No worries, I never left her side. Even carrying the candle myself to accompany her to the loo once or twice. For a 7 year old, there's strength in numbers where darkness is concerned!

In the beginning!
What we are looking at here is my back neighbor's backyard, which opens up to the main street, which is practically cloaked from the snow. Cars (yes, there were a few nuts out there) are moving at a snail's pace, but for a few idiots that didn't seem to think that slowness = carefulness in these types of weather...
Around 10:00 am when this shot was taken. I've wisely decided to keep L.H. at home after seeing the advisory that all school buses were cancelled. Schools were open though, go figure! But it didn't take them long to start calling parents to come pick up their kids. L.H. was disappointed, having some really cool presents to gift to her bus driver and teacher, but, after I explained the safety issues of traveling down the streets when even the bus drivers didn't want to take chances, she understood. Actually, I think what made it acceptable was the fact that our neighbors, R and S, were also staying home and would be coming by for a pre-lunch visit. Well, it looks pretty, but I must admit, I was glad the neighbors were coming over to OUR place, and not the other way around. Even if they ARE just two doors down...

We were all quite impressed with this squirrel's intestinal fortitude, to brave this kind of weather for the sake of a nut! Those tails are a cool design feature eh? I couldn't help but notice its ingenuity at using it for coverage. It kept blowing in the wind mind you, but squirrely kept re-propping it back over its head.
Picture this: Jewels trying to snap a photo, surrounded by two young ones squealing "Oooooh, look at de cute widdwe puffy wuffy squirrel! Oh, mommy, can we let it in? It looks soooo cold!" Oy! Did my mom have to put up with that nonsense????
(DON'T answer that!)
The steps to the back walkout have officially disappeared to leave behind the coolest slide in the neighborhood. We'll let the kids go first, you know, to test it... ;) Perhaps knowing that the steps have a 10" lift will give you more of an appreciation at the amount of snow we'll have to clear off of them.

I just found this to be a rather neat shot. Love how the bush looks with the snow falling through the spaces there. Reminds me of coral.

Little Higness after waking from her nap.
She lurrrrrrrrved the candles everywhere. Don't you just love her slippers? She asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I told her I wanted a pair just like them. Well, in style, not necesarilly color. Not sure I'm a polka dot kinda gal, but I wouldn't be averse to the lovely black cable-knit ones I spied at La Vie En Rose....

Lucky for us, the power outage [caused by a felled power line] didn't last too long. The furnace kicked back on just short of us being able to see our breath IN the house! Well, at least we had plans B and C to implement had we needed to, but, I'd say we were pretty lucky. You know? It made me think: Would I prefer a power outage in the summer or winter?
It WAS cold enough that any and all perishables might have been stored outside, and would have kept, but we might have gotten frostbite in the house, regardless of the mountain of blankets we had! Whereas in the summer, you may lose a whole lot of food, but you certainly wouldn't be exposed to hypothermia... Food for thought, eh? I think I'd take a long power outage in the summer over a winter one.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Still here, I swear! :D

Ok, ok. I know. Too few and far between. But, I guess this is now my busy time of the year, as I've intented it! ;)
Now that I've just finished shoveling 10 cm of snow from my driveway, the sidewalk, the walkup, and the porch, I can actually sit and relax. The typing is a bit slower at the moment, as the old arms are a wee bit tired from said shoveling. Not too bad though, just some needed exercise.
I've had a few custom orders to fill for some friends, and have been finishing some old pieces. One of which is "Flight of Fancy". Wanna see?
Here is a shot of the project while I was still working on her:

It took me so long to figure out how I was going to finish this piece. I had thought of simply adding a pin at the back, to turn it into a brooch, then thought I'd do that AND add a bail so that it could be either worn as a pendant or a brooch, but for the life of me, I can't seem to be able to locate any of my pin backs! That's what I get for moving into a house. Now I've got much more room to lose my stuff in! ;) Well, at any rate, here she is completed. Not the best shot, but I wanted to share with you, so there!
Her body is made of four Peyote Bezelled Rose Quartz cabochons, which were then connected with a little bit of R.A.W., and her 'wings' and 'tail' were embellished with long fringes, which are weighted down by lovely little natural purple freshwater pearls. The new pendant hangs from a simple Spiral Rope Chain, and the Peyote bail allows for the wearer to remove the pendant if they wish to. I done did good I think!

Oh, in other great news, "Tanzanite Daggers" has been SOLD! :D She has found a new home through Niki, my new friend who's been carrying my pieces in her Spa. I was ecstatic! And so is her new owner!

I've been doing a lot of 'behind the scenes' work on my site. It hasn't been updated yet, but for a few tweaks here and there, but come new year, I believe I'll be fully ready to publish it with all new pieces, and a complete wholesale catalog. Now THAT's a lot of work!
The last few weeks, I've just been in complete production mode, save for the custom pieces I've finished, and it feels really, really good. The Muse is back, and I'm coddling her, nourishing her, and letting her run all over the place, giving her free reign to take me wherever she wants to lead me.
One new thing I've also decided to add to the site, which I will share with you here, is that my Pearl Blossoms is now available in a "Four Seasons" package. Clearly, I thought that was a very clever idea! ;) See?
"Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter"

I've also been working on some new earrings to match them, which will also be showcased here shortly. So stay tuned! :)

Miss U!

Friday, December 05, 2008

What have I been up to...

I've been up to so much, I can't keep track with myself!
I had my second annual Christmas Posh Party Wednesday night, and it was wonderful! Using my newfound networking tools, I figured I'd invite quite a lot of ladies, so that I would meet my criteria. Here's the formula I learned. If you invite 100 people, 30 will say "YES!". Of those 30, you'll probably get 1/3 who actually show up. That's %10 attendance. I did one better than that, I reached %15! :D (of course, I WAS aiming at %30, but hey! I done did good!)

So, out of my 61 invitees, 9 showed up, and shopped, shopped, shopped! I was impressed with these ladies, they liked what they saw, and weren't afraid to tell me! :D Have I said it was awesome yet? 'Cause it WAS!

Sonia, Sheyla and Laura gabbing away. You'd think these ladies would run out of things to chat about, since they all work together, but Nooooooooo.
A bunch of chatty Cathys they were! ;)

The other young lady who's back is facing us was my lovely assistant Selena, who did a fantastic job of tabulating everyone's receipts, and kept a fantastic account of everything.
Methinks she'll be hired again come next Posh Party.

Barbie got Bagged!
No! Not like THAT!
I didn't serve ANY alcohol at my party!

My pretty tree made an appearance again this year.
And Edith, my house, loves it when all these folks come visit her!

What a fantastic find this was. I had been searching high and low for the perfect display unit for my earrings, and 'lo and behold, one simple trip to Winners, and voilà, I found it! Well, two of them actually! :) But I only put one up for now, since my office isn't finished, and these will be on permanent display in my office for when my customers come over.
I also found another similar table-top piece which will come in handy for out of office showings, as it's the exact same design, but more along the lines of a 'cage'. I should really have photographed it to show you... Ah well, next time!

Isn't it neat?
The earrings hang perfectly on the wires, and those little saucers at the back hold tea lights, which were lit for the party. And no, neither the flames nor the heat affected either the pieces or the wall. It's perfect I tell you!

My new lines of Pearl Blossoms pendants and earring sets were quite popular, which pleased me to no end. Even my new crocheted scarves were a hit! I'm well on my way to a good wholesale catalog, which I hope will launch me on my fantastically successful jewelery making career. ;)