Archive for March, 2011

our garden in the window
I have always loved the idea of having a garden. Note I said “idea”. I have visions of myself tending to my gardens – planting, watering, weeding, gathering. However, if I have a green thumb, there has never been any evidence.

I have fond memories of my grandmother’s house; she always had gardens – flower gardens all around the house and around the trees, a vegetable garden – with corn! I thought that was so neat. Along with the more usual tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, carrots, string beans, etc. There was a strawberry patch and peach and pear trees in the backyard. I always thought it was so cool. My grandmother would make canned peaches and tomatoes, and make delicious zucchini bread.

I have inherited none of that talent.

When we bought our house several years ago, I was so excited to see a couple flower gardens already in existence. Unfortunately with the birth of Lily. any time for activities not directly related to our immediate survival was eliminated, and Nature has thus been allowed to reclaim those gardens.

But Lily is a bit older now; I have a few extra minutes of free time every week, and when I was at Wegman’s about a month ago and saw they had some gardening kits, my dreams of tending the soil were reawakened. I couldn’t resist. I ended up buying a strawberry-growing kit complete with soil, seeds, and a mini greenhouse. I mostly bought it for Lily. Mostly.

A few weeks later I bought a tomato-growing kit, and a couple weeks after that Lily brought home from school a sugar snap pea seed. Or was it a pod? It was kind of big for a seed. See, that’s how much I know about growing stuff!

And now we have a little garden on our window sill.

our little garden

Here are the strawberries…


And the tomatoes…


And the sugar snap peas…

sugar snap pea

The sugar snap pea and tomato plants desparately need to be potted. That will be the next step – if they survive that, then perhaps there is some hope for my wanna-be green thumb.

And how about you, dear readers? I would love to hear about your gardening adventures!


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springtime is here!

here comes the sun.
It’s getting a bit warmer outside. Birds are twittering in the morning. Flowers are growing in the old garden out back. Tufts of green grass are sprouting here and there. Spring is here!

To celebrate spring, I thought I would have a little give-away. My first ever! I have this lovely pair of earrings that I made – I call them my LaLa earrings, because they are colorful and fun and pretty. They are beaded with tiny size 15 beads, in lovely shades of pink and lavender, with freshwater pearls dangling from the center. They measure approximately 2&1/2″ including the dangles, but excluding the ear wire. All of the wire used is sterling silver, including the (handmade) ear wires. The ruffle is about 7/8″ wide, at its widest point. Even though they are larger-sized earrings, they are very light.



Here’s how it works: if you are interested in owning these lovely earrings, leave a comment to this post, by April 15th. On April 16th I will randomly draw a name, and that person will receive the earrings. Good luck!


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new sparkly bits.
I have new treasures to share from Artbeads. The theme this time was “winter”. After thinking for a bit I decided to design some jewelry inspired by the simplicity, austerity, and colors of winter.

First, here are some of the beads I used – sparkly Czech fire-polished beads and gleaming pearls.

These are 4mm crystal and white porphyr Czech fire-polished beads.
beautiful beads

These are 4mm jet twilight Czech fire-polished beads. I just love that name – jet twilight. How could I resist a bead with a name like that? And they are so gorgeous! Black with a metallic bronze finish that has flashes of purple and blue. yummy!

And here are the pearls – white, rice-shaped, freshwater. They’re so lovely – pearls add an instant touch of elegance and classic style.

To these wonderful beads I simply added a focal bead, strung them all on thread, added a clasp – and voila! Practically instant, perfectly pretty necklaces. I wanted to make choker-style necklaces, so these are all about 13″ long from end to end.

Here are the crystal & white beads, with a Tierra Cast black-finish pewter bead. I love this black-finish bead – it is so gorgeous! Definitely will be getting more of those.
bead necklace

Here are the yummy jet twilight beads, with a Bali sterling silver bead.
jet twilight necklace

And here are those luscious pearls, with a stunning (although my photo certainly does not do it justice!) Swarovski dark indigo ab facetted bead.
pearl necklace

As far as the findings go, the jump rings and bead tips are also from Artbeads. The lobster claw clasps are from my own collection. I really love that fact that from Artbeads you can order however many of a certain item you want – instead of having to buy a pack of 50 jumprings, I can buy the quantity I actually need (plus a few more, just in case! Once a jump ring falls down into the sofa it’s usually gone forever!). Definitely more cost-effective.

I hope you have enjoyed these little necklaces.


Disclosure: I have received the above products (all of the beads, jump rings, and bead tips) from Artbeads free of charge. I am posting an honest review of said products and have not been paid to endorse said products.

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new mags
I bought the new issues of Somerset Studio (March/April)…

somerset studio

…and Somerset Digital Studio (Spring).

digital studio

Both beautiful, as always.

I see my submission for the “simple pleasures” theme for Somerset Studio did not make it in…Not to worry. I’ve got plenty more stuff to submit!

Lately though I realize I need to step up my artwork. I notice I keep doing the same sort of thing – pretty background, vintage photo of woman, some words. Nothing wrong with that of course, but if I want to get anywhere I need to push it more. I feel like I’m not being so creative. One thing that makes it difficult for me is a lack of time for simply playing and experimenting. I have so little time to create that it’s hard for me to use that time to try new techniques – I feel like I need to make a full, complete project rather than just messing around.

I’d like to play with paint more. I’d like to experiment with different techniques to make pretty background papers. I need to schedule a play date!

It’s funny how, when I have a new magazine, as I’m paging through it, I either feel so inspired and in awe of all the cool things these women (and a few men!) have created, and I think, I can do this!

Or I feel completely uncreative, dejected, and depressed. Which is how I felt this time looking through my new Somerset Studio. Not because it’s a bad issue – on the contrary, it’s wonderful as usual. Just my own insecurity and frustration popping up.

Frustration = trying to change things you can’t do anything about. Like having a limited amount of time to pursue one’s passion. Or dealing with a 4-year old and her many clothing issues, which have even caused me to be late to work on occasion recently.

But I digress.

come on get happy
I bought some new music, which always makes me happy. I got a Judy Garland album – That Old Feeling: Ballads from the Judy Garland Show. This would be the influence of listening to the Singers & Swing music channel on tv – you know, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Julie London, Doris Day, etc. I really like listening to this music, and it’s music that I can play with my daughter around.

I’ve listened to it a couple times and I really like it so far.

I also recently bought all my favorite Elton John songs – the classics, of course – Rocket Man, Daniel, Levon, Someone Saved My Life, etc. I love love love these songs so much – I could just have them on repeat all day. They make me feel so happy!


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