Monday, March 31, 2008

Non-manic Monday

A good quiet Monday today~hurrah! All I have is a favorite quote to share:

"Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith." Dwight D. Eisenhower

Hope you and I take hold of it with the right handle! Bless you all!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday Senior High Mission Trip

Amazing church service today! Some of our senior high kids went on a mission trip to Southern California to help at a few food banks and a church thrift store. They sorted through rotten turnips and moldy-earwig-laden onions to find good produce for the hungry. They told their stories at the sermon portion of our worship. And we saw a video showing the hungry who eat the "fruits" of their and others labor. How inspiring to hear from positive teens!
I thought the "Assurance of Pardon" from the service was especially moving, and I'm including it for you here:

In every doubt God says,
"Here are my wounds. Touch."
For God is with you
in the greatest hurt--calling you.
In every confession that you make
God says, "I am listening."
For God is full of grace;
enough for you to let go
of all deadly things,
and still be held by the hands of heaven."

Here's the final pictures of the amazonite and turquoise necklace. It's quite long--30 inches. But you can shorten it to 18 inches by removing the extension piece along the neck, like I did for the last picture. This was amazing to make and I praise God for His gift to me. The gift to love to make jewelry! Just as others of you have the gift to quilt, or sew, or write, or cook. A gift indeed~~

May your Monday be blessed.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Saturday Accomplishment

New Pendant! The stone is amazonite~~I LOVE amazonite! (note: previously I posted that this stone was, my brain must have been fried. Ametrine and amazonite look totally different! Well, I fixed it, but is my face red!) The inscription is "Breathe, Look for the good, Wonder, Healing, Balance, Peace, Compassion, Blessings, Joy." I cut the pendant out of 20 gauge copper sheet and the little "breathe" part is 26 gauge silver sheet, which I riveted onto the pendant. The patina is Liver of Sulfur a couple of days old...turned out a neato color. Way fun! I should have done the laundry, but this was funner. Clean clothes, Pah!

I'll post the finished necklace tomorrow. It's not done yet :-)

May your Sunday be blessed. May you learn more of God's Word and feel His work in your life. Amen!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Fabulous Friday~

Happy Friday ALL~ we made it! Now onto the weekend chores :-)

Here's an ametrine necklace that I just finished for the shop "Gifted" in Sonoma. I'd made the etched pendant a while back, just "glamorized" it up by stringing the beads-amethyst, amber, citrine, ametrine, copper...Turned out so fun!

God bless you all, my blog friends. May this weekend be Spirit-filled. Amen.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Beautiful Thursday

Happy Thursday All!
Here's a pic of the chrysocola necklace I just finished to take to "Gifted" in Sonoma. I love it!

Had a productive day and ran to Sonoma too. It's so pretty here...perfect allergy weather, LOL~

I'm thankful for all of my blog friends...may your week finish out in joy. God bless you!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Resin Collage and Solder Explosion

My first resin collage pendant! I love it. Still a little sticky~resin apparently takes a long time to cure. Or I didn't stir it well enough. But this was sooo fun! And I even tried soldering for the first time. See up at the top? That messy blob of solder? Wait until you see the back:

I call this "solder explosion"! I love that I tried. And I'll try some more. Just need time~

Cool quote from the Luanne Rice book, "Dream Country", I'm reading right now (actually re-reading. I read it a while ago and now it's time to enjoy it again):

"When he was young, his mother had told him, "If you're going to pray, don't worry. But if you're going to worry, don't pray."


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

"Love" & "Joy" to You!

What a great day! A broken relationship with a coworker was restored today~~~I feel quite blessed.

Tonight is doggie training night. I played hooky! Actually, Rich is the dog training student with Sierra, our border-collie/Lab mix. I'm at home working on a necklace. It's chrysocola, and I'll post it when I finish it in a few days. These prehnite earrings are from last November. I loved stamping the copper!

Inspiring quote from Karen Kingsbury's novel "Rejoice":

"I believe with all my heart the secret is in our attitude. Life's circumstances don't improve by being anxious or angry or upset. But God calls us to rise above our circumstances, and that starts first in our attitudes."

"From Philippians 4:4- Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!"

I'm rejoicing, my friends. God bless you all.

Monday, March 24, 2008

New Jewelry Book!

I LOVE THIS BOOK! My DH and I hit the Fairfield Barnes & Nobles Bookstore last Friday night. Yes, we are one happenin' couple. Yeah, we sure know how to party-hardy. Anyway, I thumbed through this book and HAD TO HAVE IT. I'm gonna bet this has happened to you all too. You stop by the bookstore, pick up a book and fall deeply in book desire.

Anyway, the writer, Stephanie Lee, wrote this book like an archeological expedition. Each project has a little story to it...and then fabulous step-by-step pictures. Stephanie rocks. She actually got me to open up that resin kit I've had hiding on my shelf and play with it.

Here's one of my more successful experiments. It has a few flaws, but I'm likin' it! I just grabbed an etched little copper pendant I had stashed in my "odds & ends" drawer, cut a little flower pic off of a card my Sis sent me 8 years ago,(yep, gotta clean out my desk drawers really bad) then I poured the resin on it and made a huge sticky mess. FUN! It was like being 4 years old again. Only better.

I wish fun happy experiments for all of you, my dear friends. May your week be a super-good one. Bless you!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

He is Risen Indeed!

"But very early on Sunday morning the women came to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone covering the entrance had been rolled aside. So they went in, but they couldn't find the body of the Lord Jesus. They were puzzled, trying to think what could have happened to it. Suddenly, two men appeared to them. Then the men asked, "Why are you looking in a tomb for someone who is alive? He isn't here! He has risen from the dead! Don't you remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again the third day?"

Then they remembered that he had said this. So they rushed back to tell his eleven disciples --and everyone else --what had happened." Luke 24, 1-9. NLT

How did these women feel? Trudging to do their duty for their Master's burial rites. Heartbroken. Exhausted. Numb with grief. And then this vision---two strange men. A very strange idea. The beginning of belief. The beginning of understanding. Amazement!

I want to feel their joy. I wish I could see their faces as the realization struck. Praise Praise Praise God!!!

May you feel this amazement and immerse yourself in this joyous truth. Bless you!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Granddaughter Brag Night

I didn't post last night~~~ I had bigger fish to fry! Here's my granddaughter Allessa, who visited us along with my son and his girlfriend.

Allessa is thinking, "Get me away from this weird lady! And quit shining that flash of light in my eyes every two seconds!"

Ahhhh, snack time. That's more like it! Two sweeties hangin' out. My DH is GREAT with babies.

After dinner. Life isn't too bad!

Anyway, that was fun. And today my DH and I went to the dump, to our church, to Sonoma, to the grocery store, and back home to eat Peach Cobbler Ice Cream~~~Whew!

It's Holy Saturday. I encourage you to go to Deryn Mentock's blog at Something Sublime, who's link is in my Favorite Links column. She's written a lovely synopsis of Holy Week with beautiful pictures. It reminds me again how blessed I am!

I'm also blessed to have you all, my dear blog friends. And be encouraged! Remember, Sunday's coming!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Absolute Last Pic of the Heart~

I promise this is the LAST pic of the colored metal heart...honest! I finally finished it today~ and I'm wearing it right now. I always wear all of my creations to be sure that they hang properly and no wires stick out to scratch, etc. I just wanted you to see the last-spiffed-up-ready-to-wear picture of this piece. Selfish!!

Today I received an interesting forward from my Auntie M. It's credited to Rick Warren, and he mentioned something that made me think.

"Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to go into another one.

The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort.

God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.

We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness."

Wow. Definitely good food for thought. Bless you, all my blog friends and may God hold you so close as He develops your (and my) character.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wednesday Night

Had to go shopping tonight. Dislike shopping with a mad passion. But I found an outfit for my granddaughter, table decorations for "my" table at the Easter brunch at church, and the makings for lentil soup dinner on Good Friday. Now finally at my computer with my big old orange kitty Foster on my lap "helping" me. Does anyone else out there have a cat who helps (i.e. sits on your lap and gets in your way when you are typing)them?

This pendant is an old one from last year. Etched copper and turquoise---yum!

Holy Week is speeding by. May you and I slow down a bit to savor what He did for us. To appreciate what we've been given. Amen!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Heart Finishing Touches

After I'd layered all the color that my heart desire, it was time to seal it. I sprayed many light coats (at least seven) of matte Krylon clear spray. And for the last coat I used Midas Finish Seal Lacquer.

Then it's jump ring and dangle time! I had no idea what stones I'd use with this pendant. I rummaged through my stash and played with several ideas. The lapis tubes won my nod and I wired wrapped those babies to dangle at the bottom of the heart. The jump rings are made from 18 gauge sterling wire. I love to use two to secure my pendants. Since my jump rings are not soldered, I want to feel that the pendant is really secure. And two jump rings looks cool to me. (Listen to my 23-year-old daughter fall over laughing because I'm trying to be cool!)

I think it turned out pretty! Now I have to make the leather neckpiece to show it off.

God bless you, my friends! May Wednesday shine!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Adding Color to My Heart

Next, I sanded my heart to give it a rough finish. This helps the gesso to stick. I just used my fine steel wool on it. Then I painted the area I wanted to color with gesso.

After the gesso thoroughly dried, I lightly drew with my colored pencils the design I wanted. Then I brushed turpentine to let the colors "melt" into eachother. This step is stinky, so I had to be sure I had lots of ventilation. After the turpentine dried, I drew another layer of color with my pencils. Then more turpentine and dry time. I did this this over and over until the color looked good to me. For this pendant I put on 6 layers of color. You'll see the results close up tomorrow! Yes, I am a big tease. :-)

May your Monday be a pleasant memory, and may your Tuesday shine with God's love and guidance. Bless you all!

Palm Sunday and My Heart

Blessed Palm Sunday to you all!

Here's the next step for my heart pendant~~~ Stamping! I love stamping. I'm definitely not perfect at it, but I even love the imperfections. It's what makes the piece look handcrafted and unique.

After I stamped it, I used Liver of Sulfur to "antique it" and then polished it with very fine steel wool. The Liver of Sulfur~~or LOS, as all the popular kids refer to it~~ is a common treatment that jewelry folk use on silver and copper. It smells sulfur-y, so I use it in my garage. You really want to wash your jewelry and your hands after using LOS, or people will back away from you. While wrinkling their noses.

Palm Sunday was as lovely as always. The children waving the palm branches and shouting "Hosanna!" As we adults watch, we know that the cheers and accolades will be changed to jeers and hatred on Friday. May we always appreciate what our Lord did for us.
Peace to you, my friends.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Steps to a Heart Pendant

Howdy All!
I'm working on a little heart pendant using the colored metal technique that I mentioned on my March 10 post. Each step will be photographed so you can see how it "grows up" from a piece of copper.
This is the first step. I cut out and punched a heart shape. Do me a favor and ignore the dust!!! You never know what a bad housekeeper you are until you photograph your jewelry in the macro mode...eeeuuuuwwww. Sorry you had to see this. Now you know the dirty truth.
Anyway, I used a jeweler's saw to cut the shape out of 20 gauge copper, and I used my punch pliers to make the holes. I heart my tools!

Today was a work party day at our church. I hurt in places that I hadn't thought of in a while....but the hallway that we painted (we being two girlfriends and my DH) looks so much lighter and cleaner. Our church building was constructed in the late 1940's and has had lots of use. Boy scouts to AA to the music theater and more use the building during the week, in addition to our church programs. The poor building needed some love, with Palm Sunday arriving tomorrow. Well, it got spruced up a bit and I may take some Advil tonight!

Bless you all, my dear friends. May your Palm Sunday be a meaningful beginning of Holy Week. And may we all strive to understand and appreciate what He did for us.

Friday, March 14, 2008

May Your Roots Grow Deep

Here's a turquoise necklace I made for myself for a past birthday. One of the fun things about making jewelry is that you can make things for yourself. And if it's your birthday, you don't feel as guilty about it.

I was reading through an old Daily Guideposts 2006 and read an inspirational story by Marjorie Parker. She wrote about the old experiment called the Biosphere 2, a huge bubble created by scientists to mimic rainforest, ocean, tropic and desert climates. They were hoping that it would support life and perhaps they could put one of these bubbles on Mars. It didn't work. Plants and animals died, so they stopped the experiment. But one thing that Marjorie noted really fascinated me. Here, in her own words,
"One small thing they found, however, struck me as profound: The cottonwood trees they planted began falling over as they grew tall: they had to be propped up. Why? Because the scientists had not included wind in their world and wind was necessary if the cottonwoods were to develop strong root structures."

Marjorie wisely concluded that the "winds" that blow through our lives can make us stronger too. And she's so right. Without my trials, I'd never be the woman I am today.

So may all of your "winds" of challenge and sadness result in deeper and stronger roots of faith for you to be able to stand tall with Jesus. Amen!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Present from a Friend!

The Postlady stopped by today with a present from my dear friend Jacki. She makes lovely wirework jewelery and features them on her website at
And I wish I could link this website to my post...but I'm blog-link-challenged!! Anyway..
The necklace is bloodstone and copper wirework with copper chain maille! And she also sent me chocolates, stuffed animals, a musical rosebud and a big cup perfect for soup. Wow!!!! How lucky I am:-)

May God fill your lives with amazing friends! And may we all, with the guidance of God, be amazing friends to others. Bless you!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Stringin' Along

Hi All!
This necklace is an old piece. It's strung with lots of labradorite, rutilated quartz and moonstone. I loved the primitive look!

May your Thursday be Thankful. I love reading everyone's blogs that talk of why they are joyful to read about your blessings!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

"Amazing Grace" Finishing Touches

The necklace is officially finished! I finally attached it to this neckpiece...ready for "Gifted" in Sonoma. I just have to make a spiffy label for it and then drive over there later this month. Boy, do I feel productive! :-)

I hope your Tuesday went well, and if it didn't, I pray that Wednesday is better! Thank you Jesus!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Goofing Around with a New Jewelry Technique

Here's a funky looking pendant I made this weekend. I read about a technique to put color on copper in the Jewelry Artist Network forum and wanted to try it. It took turpentine and gesso and colored pencils and lots of time and layers...and looks a bit weird. But I learned a lot! And I have a few ideas for the future.

So here's the pic of the finished pendant and a pic of the colored metal by itself. How fun to play...

Great quotation from Norman Vincent Peale's "Power of Positive Thinking" (one of my all-time favorite books in the universe):
Mr. Peale is quoting a wise man...."when asked how he overcame his difficulties,"How do I get through a trouble? Well, first I try to go around it, and if I can't go around it, I try to get under it, and if I can't get under it, I try to go over it, and if I can't go over it, I just plow right through it." Then he added, "God and I plow right through it."

So my dear blog friends, I hope you are not having any trouble right now, but if you are, remember this wise man's philosophy! And may God and you plow right through it!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Lovely Sunday

Played with jewelry this weekend. If I can post some pics, I'll show you the colorized metal and bead pendant that I goofed around with on Saturday and Sunday. I keep getting an error code whenever I goes one more try!
Hmmmm 502 server error...
No pictures tonight folks!
May your week be blessed anyway!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Lord, Help Me Live Your Word

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6-7 NLT

May we all pray and feel God's peace. An amazing peace. And may we never worry, always praising Him!

Here's a pair of copper, citrine and garnet earrings that I made a while back. Hope they make you smile! Bless you, my blog friends.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Friday Night Fever~

I love to read! When I can, that is. I've been a bookworm since I was in first grade. We lived in the country, and the Bookmobile would park at the local Superette on Wednesdays. Mom would bring us there in the summer. Ohhh the smell of lots of books. I loved to read Nancy Drew, Edward Eager, Louisa May Alcott, Beatrix Potter...hmmmmm. I'd get in trouble for reading too much! I had to ride the bus to school and back and I always had a book to read. Bliss!

I'm currently reading this book. I love this series. I'm not a quilter, but these books make me wish I was. I love stories of families and friends weathering challenges and celebrating joys.

Oh, the title of this post: My poor DH has the flu! He spent all day at home in bed with a fever. So I pray he gets better soon. I pray that you all don't get this bug! And may your Saturday be blessed, no matter what you have planned!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Glad That's Over!

I did NOT make these cool rings! I got these a couple of weeks ago at "Gifted", the Sonoma shop where I sell my jewelry. They were made by a husband-and-wife team called C&R Jewelry and I fell in love. I don't wear rings, except my wedding Claddagh. Very basic. But I became fascinated with these and since I was supporting a fellow artist...I selfishly and frivolously got these for myself.

Well, the sigmoidoscopy adventure is over!!! I don't have to have another one for five years! It wasn't the funnest thing I've ever done, but it's good to know that my colon is lookin' good. Um, figuratively speaking, of course. And I got three compliments from the doctor doing the exam on how well I "cleaned myself out". Yippee skippee, the evening in bathroom (stocked with new magazines) and the "amusing" morning enemas were worth it!

So, all you other popular girls and boys out there, take a tip from Auntie Chris and ask your doctor about this happenin' exam! It ain't pretty, it ain't fun, but it's so worth it to do your preventative check ups!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Sigmoidoscopy and the Joy of New Tools

Hello All! I'm getting a sigmoidoscopy tomorrow. Kaiser recommends that all people at age 50 get one and I LOVE to be in the "IN" crowd! I imagine that all the popular people get these and I must be popular!

Anyway, busy drinking apple juice and eating Jello and visiting the potty...ugh.

But I got my tools from Beaducation today! Wooo hooo! Hey, nothing like new tools to perk a kid up. The brass hammer is supposed to make stamping a bit easier. The stepped round pliers will make making jump rings easier. The wire gauge checker-thingee (I'm so knowledgeable about the proper names for tools. Yep.) will make it easier when I want to rivet or when I'm not sure of the gauge of stray wire strands that appear in my work area. And the new stamps are cool---an awareness ribbon stamp, a teeny spiral and a .925 stamp to use on sterling silver...This sure makes tonight better. Really.

May God be with each and every one of you. And remember to get your recommended medical tests! Blessings.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Tuesday Smile

Tuesday down!!! Made it through another day of employment and I get to go with my DH and our puppy to dog training tonight. Yay! I am excited to learn how to effectively keep her from jumping on me. And everyone else.

May your evening be jolly and may your Wednesday sail smoothly! God bless you my friends!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Radiant Strength, Joyous Courage

Hello All! This necklace is turquoise and carnelian. I stamped the words "Radiant Strength, Joyous Courage" around the big turquoise bead. And it just sold at the "Gifted" shop in Sonoma!! Beaducation, here I come!! New stamps, a brass hammer and a pair of stepped pliers...oh yes... I love new tools :-)

I hope that your Monday was radiant. God really kept me close today. I almost became perturbed at a coworker, but I heard that Voice tell me to "Let it go. It's not worth getting upset."...and the real miracle is that I listened to it!

May you all have the Calm Voice of God to lead you into your Tuesday!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Blessing & Joy

Happy Sunday All!

Here's a little pendant that I made using a technique that I first saw on the Jewelry Artist Network Forum. The artists who used this technique said they learned it from two teachers: Kriss Silva and Heidi Hale. I took a piece of 1/8 inch 28 gauge fine silver bezel wire, measured, stamped, antiqued, wrapped, punched and wirewrapped it on this piece of jasper. It's my first try and boy, it was pretty fun! Expect to see more, my friends~:-)

May your week be chock-full of blessings and joy! God be with you all!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Charming, dahling!

Last night I got to talk with Denise over at Rosa & Josies...what a sweet gal! And a fellow jewelry artist/nuthead/enthusiast. Anyway, I told her one of my favorite classes that I ever attended was one at the BABE show in Oakland a little over a year ago. The instructor was Tracy Stanley--a fabulous wire and metal jewelry artist and encouraging terrrific warm funny etc etc teacher. The BEST! Anyway, the class was called "Simply Charming" and she taught us how to stamp, antique, and form the wire and bead caps for a cool charm bracelet. Here's mine. Aaaalllll mine! Ha~ It's so fun and eye-catchy. If you ever get a chance to take one of her classes---do it!!
And may you Praise God, Love Always, Pray Hard, Give Thanks and Have Faith~