Saturday, March 16, 2013

Focus on Life / Week 11

This week, Sally Russick's Focus on Life prompt is "The Possibilities are Endless".  

Growing up as a child, my mother ALWAYS baked daily - breads, cookies, cakes - you name it.  I did not want for any carbohydrates, which explains alot.... There is nothing like the smell of freshly baked goods wafting from the oven...nothing compares!
When Mom moved in with me, I promised her I would try to have homemade bread on hand for her (and me!) , as well.  So twice a month, I bake bread.  And life is good!

 Hop on over to Sally's blog to see everyone else's Possibilities...

Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thank you Christine Altmiller!

I have met some wonderful beady friends through social networking such as blogging and Facebook.  One of these very special friends is Christine Altmiller of One Kiss Creations.  It is because of Christine's co-sponsorship of a bracelet donation blog hop to the Rare Foundation's 7000 Bracelets of Hope Campaign in 2012 that I have donated many bracelets to this wonderful organization.  Thanks Christine!
Christine always writes the sweetest comments on my blog posts.  Recently, she commented that she loved my wire work, especially the swirled link chain that I have been obsessed with lately.  So, I wrote her back, told her to give me her address and I would send her one.  She had an even better idea - let's swap jewelry! 
Now, unlike Yours Truly, Christine is an extremely talented bead weaver extraordinaire. In addition to hosting and participating in several blog hops related to this gorgeous art form, she and Therese have a monthly challenge  where they use the same beads to create their own designs.  I cannot even fathom threading a needle and weaving these teeny, weeny, tiny beads to form such beautiful wearable art!  Anyway, this is what Christine made just for me!!!
Look at this fantastic bezel around a rock that Christine picked up at the shores of Lake Michigan!  In her own words, she "picked the rock for the sneak peak inside the opening."  How many people do you know can pick up a rock and see the gorgeous beauty?  A true artist sees the beauty in nature, as she did here!
The back of the focal is as beautiful as the front! 
The chain is stunning - it is made with garnet and citrine - in my mind, I imagined myself counting beads, dropping beads, stringing the wrong bead, becoming upset, tearing it get my drift here....
Look at this toggle!!!  In her note, Christine named all the stitches she used to create this beautiful piece and I still have no idea how she made this toggle (or any of it!)  Isn't this amazing?!
This necklace is the perfect length - and I gravitate towards darker colors as well.  It is absolutely beautiful!
Not only did I receive a stunner of a necklace, but she made me these gorgeous matching earrings which she calls "Feather Earrings" - THE PERFECT SIZE EARRINGS FOR MY LITTLE EARS! (I did not mean to shout - but I am excited!)
The best part of this "trade" is the new friendship I have formed - I am so deeply grateful - I have few "live" friends and I cherish the friendship I have formed!  I feel so blessed!
Now - I will repeat that I am not a bead weaver - so I made Christine a necklace with a gorgeous piece of jasper - landscape jasper to be exact.
I made the bail with the two-tone coiling technique I learned from Kerry Bogert.
I made some rolled beads (actual name is Cocoon Beads) as Christine commented that she likes those!  Of course I added some swirled links (thank you again Kerry for the tut!)
The coordinating jasper beads have a wonderful, almost tubular shape to them.

I added an awesome twisted wire copper clasp made by Marie-Noel Voyer- Cramp
I had a hard time picking an earring design...
So, I just sent two pair!
I made Christine's set during a very troubling period - my niece had just lost her four and a half year golden retriever Daisy.  Daisy was a very intricate part of my life.  When my first dog, Abby passed away nearly 3 years ago, Rachel had moved close by and I took care of Daisy (with my remaining boy, Sam) during the day Monday-Friday (like a doggy day care!)  Daisy became Sam's rock - as he just was not the same after losing his litter mate sister, Abby.  After Sam passed away last June, Daisy would come to keep me company twice a month - in addition to weekend jaunts with her cousins in my yard.  Her illness was quick - and the 10 days she was sick, which included surgery, was very hard on everyone in my family.  To this day, I still cry for Abby, Sam, and now Daisy.  Daisy was truly an Ambassador of Love.  There is NO LOVE like that of a Dog.  I love you Daisy - and I miss you - and I thank you for being in my life for the short time you were here!
Daisy and Sam
Thank you again Christine, and thank you for stopping by!