Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Share the Love - Featured Artist

The Loopy Chick Feature Artisan

This weeks Featured Artisan is Stacy Lynne - The Loopy Chick! You will find darling Sock Monkeys and "Snuggy" Baby Blankets in her shop!  All made by hand and all made with love by Stacy! Beautiful Crocheted and Knitted Gifts!

 You can find the Loopy Chick on: Artfire   Blog    Website    Facebook    Twitter

Are you On Fire for Handmade? http://onfireforhandmade.com

Monday, December 17, 2012

On the 16th and 17th Days of Christmas

On the 16th and 17 days of Christmas
My true love gave to me...
Nature-inspired jewelry!
It never rains but it pours at my house!  Last week I almost ended up with bronchitis (and missed singing in our Christmas program at church).  Yesterday, I slipped walking up the stairs and twisted my back.  I guess it's better than falling down the stairs--I always manage to do things backwards it seems!  And everything always happens at the holidays!
So since, I missed posting yesterday's featured item, you have two to choose from today!  The first necklace is a copper butterfly I made by coiling copper wire and then wrapping it together with thin copper wire and black Swarovski crystals.
 I love butterflies and this simple design  showcases the beauty of a butterfly perfectly. 
The second featured necklace was inspired by the glass beads that reminded me of the jungle cats.   
I used black wire to create free-form links and to join the beads together.  It adds a bit of drama and mystery to the design. 
So, I have been relegated to the couch to rest my back for the next few days.  Now if I can just find the bell so I can ring it when I want someone to wait on me...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Day 15...

On the 15th day of Christmas
My true love gave to me...
A triple strand beaded sea glass necklace.
On a few trips to the beach, I was so excited to find such large pieces of sea glass!  Well, to be honest I was glad my daughter found them...it's a struggle to pry her out of her computer chair but when I do, she has the most amazing luck. 
Larger sea glass requires a bit of creative thinking.  I tend to want to keep it simple, but these large pendants look so out of place just hung from a simple chain. 
I love the understated elegance of this piece.  You can wear it dressed up or dressed down and it can hold its own! 
Yesterday, I spent the day baking cookies with my daughter and her best friend/sister.  These were made with my mom's oatmeal cookie recipe.  But my favorite cookies are my Granny's Cry Babies (molasses cookies).  What is your favorite cookie of all time?

Friday, December 14, 2012

On the 14th day of Christmas
My true love gave to me...
A fun pair of brown sea glass earrings!

When you think of the sights and smells of Christmas, what do you think of?  Wood burning in the fireplace...cookies baking in the stove...crisp winter mornings...the woodsy smell of pine...
Probably not ice cream.

But it was summertime when I created these earrings and I needed a name for them and the colors reminded me of creamsicle ice cream. 
These earrings aren't just for summertime, though.  They are a perfect colorful accent all year round! 
The presents are wrapped (most of them) and I'm going to try to bake cookies today.  My daughter has asked for my special oatmeal cookies and I found sugar-free chocolate morsels for my diabetic husband so I'll be in the kitchen for most of the day. 
What are your favorite cookies at the holidays?  I have to admit...mine are my Granny's molasses cookies.  Maybe I'll make a batch of those this week as well!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

On the 13th Day of Christmas

 On the 13th day of Christmas
My true love gave to me...
A green sea glass pendant on a white beaded necklace
Sometimes you just have to break the rules, and that's what I did with the necklace!  The color and shape of this piece of sea glass drew me in as I was walking the beach...and I didn't even care that it wasn't 100% jewelry grade. 

As you can see in the photo above, there are some places along the edge that are still a bit shiny and not frosted.  But I think that adds to the beauty of this piece.  I added a beaded necklace created with glass beads that reminded me of shells to create this one of a kind look.
And as I promised...here's a picture of our Christmas tree decked out with all the lights and decorations.  It makes the house seem more like Christmas now that this is done!
Do you have a special decoration or ornament that you always have to put out at Christmas?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

On the 12th Day of Christmas

 On the 12th day of Christmas
My true love gave to me...
two special presents for forgetting to give me one yesterday!
(It stinks to be sick at the holidays...so since I wasn't able to post yesterday, here's a special treat!  Two items for sale AND free shipping!)
If you love Swarovski crystals, this first necklace/earrings set is going to make your eyes sparkle!  Beautiful white sea glass and square Swarovski crystals make this necklace and earrings set the perfect gift!
I originally designed this for a summer beach wedding, but it would be the perfect accessory for a holiday party or even to welcome in the New Year!

The second sale item for today is this gorgeous brown sea glass triad necklace.  I have to confess, I didn't collect these pieces of sea glass.  They were collected off the New England coast by a friend of mine.  But they make a beautiful necklace and I love the sparkle of the topaz Swarovski crystals between each piece!
You will find yourself reaching for this necklace again and again because of the simple elegance of the design. 
And the extra gift for today?  Free shipping with code 121212 at checkout on your entire purchase. 
Still no lights on the tree but hopefully that will all change today and if it does, I will be sure to post pictures tomorrow!

Monday, December 10, 2012

On the Tenth Day of Christmas

 On the tenth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me...
Artisan lampwork and sea glass earrings
(You can view the listing HERE)
I love earrings with a little sparkle and swing!  I paired two pieces of white sea glass with these blue and green metallic lampwork beads to create these fun earrings.
It takes hours to sort through the sea glass I've collected to find two pieces that are similar in shape and color. And each trip to the beach yields more pieces to match!
When I wrap the sea glass, I have to be sure that the pattern is similar on both pieces and that pattern needs to hold the glass securely as well as look beautiful.  These smaller pieces are more difficult to wrap than the larger ones!
We're still working on getting the tree decorated, but this year we're not rushing just to get done...we're enjoying the time together!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

On the Ninth Day of Christmas

On the ninth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me...
A gorgeous one of a kind necklace
(You can view the link to this necklace HERE)
I found these gorgeous apple green and pink glass beads strolling through a bead shop and was mesmerized by them!  

It took several days for me to decide how to use these beads, trying different styles and colors.  I really liked the way the beads looked when I wrapped each as a link instead of beading them together on a string.  
As I looked at the necklace and bracelet, I was reminded of a beautiful rose bush my husband had bought me at our first house.  I had to leave it behind when we moved, but it had the most beautiful pink cabbage roses I had ever seen.  And putting the name in French just seemed to be more romantic than saying "Little Flower Garden."

The Christmas tree is up, without lights or decorations yet.  But I can look at it and think of the wonderful time I had with my family in finding it!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

On the Eighth Day of Christmas

On the eighth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me...
An antique bronze sea glass bracelet
(You can view the listing here)
I collected this piece of sea glass on one of my first trips  to the ocean just to look for sea glass.  This piece is probably from a small brown bottle, because of the curve that it has. 
I tried using it as a pendant but it didn't lay right and kept turning.  One morning my daughter was playing with the sea glass and put this piece on her wrist...and I had an "a-ha!" moment!  Sea glass is beautiful as a necklace and earrings...why not a bracelet?
This bracelet is still one of my favorite pieces.  I had to figure out how to have a loop at both ends of the sea glass but not have the wire wrapping become the focus of the bracelet. 
I also created infinity links in the same type of wire (but a thicker gauge)  to help showcase the sea glass.
It's already week 2 of December...what special holiday plans do you have for this week?  We are getting our Christmas tree and decorating it. I can't wait!

Friday, December 7, 2012

On the Seventh Day of Christmas

On the seventh day of Christmas
My true love gave to me...
A gorgeous green sea glass pendant on a beaded necklace
I love the green sea glass I find on the beach...the color varies with each piece.  And I don't know why, but the shapes are really interesting!

I found these beads browsing in a bead shop and had no idea what I was going to do with them when I bought them.  But as you can see, they accent this gorgeous pendant perfectly!

I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season and are making sure to spend lots of time with family and friends.  The special memories are created in the time spent together, not planning the "perfect" party.
Tomorrow's featured item is one of my first creations and one of my favorites!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

On the Sixth Day of Christmas

On the sixth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me...
A pair of winter white sea glass earrings with a blue frosted glass bead cluster
Now that was hard to fit into the song, wasn't it???
A few posts back, I mentioned that there is a difference between genuine sea glass that is collected off the beach and man-made or faux sea glass. 
Sea glass that has been collected off a beach has a unique frosted appearance.  When you see it side-by-side with man-made sea glass, it's very easy to tell the two apart.  Man-made sea glass also is uniform in its appearance, while authentic sea glass may be similar, it is never exactly the same.    
 White Sea Glass Earrings

These earrings are a beautiful combination of white sea glass I collected over the past year and man-made sea glass beads.  This sale is a great way to start your sea glass jewelry collection or add to your favorites!
It's almost a week into December...how far have you gotten with your decorating and Christmas shopping?  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

On the Fifth Day of Christmas

On the fifth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me...
A lampwork starfish and copper link necklace
These beautiful artisan lampwork beads are 3-D...the white starfish is raised off the blue background and the orange spots add a fun texture. 

I had some jasper beads in all sorts of shades of orange that just made the starfish pop in the design.  And of course the handmade copper infinity links added a touch of shine!

Can you believe that tomorrow will be Day 6?  The month is just rolling by!

Share the Love - On Fire for Handmade

Share the Love, Blogger's Unite

Featured Artisan - Frauke Avent -  Handmade Fuzzy

This week's Featured Artist is Frauke Avent of Handmade Fuzzy! A wonderful artisan and Lady!

At Handmade Fuzzy you will find Unique handmade Gifts for everyone. She makes wondeful, personalized Stethoscopes and her Mice are just way too cute!

All of her items are truly works of art and made with Love! Knit, Crochet, Felt... you will find something for everyone!

Her one-of-a-kind items are ready to ship from my smoke-free home.
Find Handmade Fuzzy On:     Zibbet   Facebook   Blog     google+
You can grab the code for your blog HERE

On the Fourth Day Of Christmas

On the fourth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me...
A sea glass heart necklace
I find all sorts of shapes of sea glass on the beach.  Mostly they are geometric (like triangles and squares and such) but every now and again I see something different.
I remember when I found this piece...it had been a pretty meager day for sea glass.  I had wandered up and down the beach without much success.  And then the sunlight reflected off this piece in the sand. 

It is a small piece but just as beautiful as some of the large pieces I've found.  I've only found a handful of heart-shaped pieces of sea glass and none have captured my imagination like this little beauty.
I added Swarovski crystals to create a pastel rainbow that draws your attention right to the brown sea glass heart.
So, tomorrow is already day 5...can you guess what piece of jewelry I've chosen for tomorrow's sale?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

On the Third Day of Christmas

On the third day of Christmas
My true love gave to me...
A custom wire wrapped sand dollar lampwork bead bracelet
I started my jewelry journey with wire wrapping.  It was the best way to create pendants with my sea glass.  And it was only natural that as I started looking at the work of other artists, I would became interested in learning various wrapping techniques. 
Although simple to create, these links add visual interest that would be missing if I used something mass produced.  They give this bracelet a special touch that makes it truly one of a kind.


This bracelet is constructed of handmade lampwork sand dollar beads, small glass green beads and my handcrafted links. It's a fun bracelet, especially in the summertime.  And I used a super strong magnet instead of a clasp so that it's easier to get on and off. 
I love the way this photo turned out...I was experimenting with different techniques and props at the time.
I wonder what to put on sale tomorrow?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

On the Second Day of Christmas

On the second day of Christmas
My true love gave to me...
A sea glass pendant
on a custom beaded necklace
OK, I told you yesterday that this probably wouldn't rhyme. 
Or be in tune. 
I love the look and feel of sea glass.  It remindes me of the quietness of the waves breaking on the beach.  And so I use very simple patterns when wrapping my sea glass pendants, so that the beauty of the glass shines through.
I've created a spiral rope chain for this sea glass pendant.  The small white beads shine like pearls and the green glass beads are a perfect backdrop for the brown sea glass. 
Be sure to check in tomorrow for the sale item for Day Three...

Friday, November 30, 2012

On the First Day of Christmas

It won't rhyme or even be in tune, but I'm having my own little "12 Days of Christmas" party over at my shop,  Sea of Dreams
Actually it's going to be "24 Days of Christmas" because I'm going to reduce the price on one item each day from now until Christmas Eve.  Each day will feature a different item...but please be aware that items ordered the week before Christmas may not arrive in time for the big day.
So, here goes...
On the first day of Christmas
My true love gave to me...
A pair of lovely white sea glass earrings
(You can view the listing here)
If you are not familiar with sea glass, let me be the first to tell you all about it!  Sea glass is the ultimate in recycling.  As ships have sunk off the coasts of various countries and the glass in their cargo has broken, it then moves with the tides all throughout the world.  Each piece of glass spends the next 50 to 100 years tumbling through surf and pounded against sand until it acquires the frosted finish and rounded edges prized by collectors.
I am lucky to live near the New Jersey coast and have collected the sea glass I use in my jewelry myself.  The most common colors I find are white, brown and green.  Prized colors are cobalt blue, pink, lavender, and red...usually found in Hawaii or around the Mediterranean Sea. 
Do not be fooled by man made sea glass (faux sea glass) also known as beach glass.  This is glass that has been created in a rock tumbler and can be purchased in bulk quantities.  If you find lower priced jewelry that says it is sea glass but the glass is uniform in shape and color, it is probably not genuine sea glass.  
The sea glass in these earrings was found over the course of about eight months.  Each trip, I collect only sea glass that meets jewelry grade standards (easily 70% of what I find on the beach is not usable in my jewelry).  Then each piece is rinsed off and sorted according to color, shape and size.  To find two pieces that are similar in all three areas takes many visits to the beach and hours of sorting through all the glass I've collected.
It is rare to find sea glass this large.  And I considered myself very lucky to find two pieces that were so nicely matched! 
One interesting fact is that sea glass is very light-weight.  These earrings, while large, are not heavy at all. 
Which item from my shop will be featured for the Second Day of Christmas?  Check back tomorrow!

The Little Christmas Tree

It must be hard to be married to a "Christmas Elf."  At least my hubby tells me so every December.  I don't know...I  think it would be fun to have someone so excited about the holidays that you can't help but catch their enthusiasm.
I guess it didn't help things the year I decided to play a trick on him and he almost put a bullet through our living room wall.
Just so you have the whole picture...my husband is a police officer, which means he carries a gun for a living.  He is also former military so maybe having a surprise for him that took place in a dark house late at night wasn't the best idea I've ever had. 
It all started with a trip to Walmart.  Do you remember when those motion-activated holiday things were all the rage?  Like the Christmas tree that sat on the table like a real tree until you walked past it and then the eyes opened and it said in a booming voice, "HO! HO!  HO!  Merry Christmas!" and then started to sing?
Let me set the stage.  It was our second Christmas, and my hubby and I had moved the furniture around so that our Christmas tree would fit.  We decorated both tree and house together.  He even said it all looked nice.
I just couldn't leave well enough alone, could I?
One night just before Christmas, I hid that motion-activated tree in our Christmas tree, turned off the lights and hid in the hallway to see his reaction.  It was probably a good thing that I was out of his line of sight...
My tired husband gets done his 4-12 shift and walks into a dark house after long day at work.  Just as he moves through the living room to turn on the lights, there is a rustle to his left and a deep male voice starts talking...and then singing...
To be perfectly honest, I really didn't think he would pull his gun and aim at the Christmas tree. 
I turned on the hallway light and called his name (well, more like gasped his name because I was laughing so hard).  He turned toward me and asked in a not so nice tone what I thought I was doing.
Which is really funny if you think about it...because we had just had a conversation about the fact that I was always so serious about everything.  If there ever was a time to be serious about thinking through a plan, it was probably this one but then again my sense of timing never was the best.
Needless to say, that little Christmas tree disappeared shortly after that. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Christmas Countdown

My hubby and I are about as different as two people can be...and that's part of what has made life interesting.  But when it comes to the holidays, well, it's hard to reconcile the differences.
The first year we were married, he offered to help me decorate for Christmas.  Which was really sweet.  He came back to me in less than 30 minutes and asked if I wanted to take a look.
I was more than a little shocked.  After all, I've been watching my grandmother decorate her house since I was a little girl and there wasn't a spare space in her home that didn't have a scrap of holly or some kind of Christmas decoration on it.  And that was just the inside of the house!
Now, I will admit that our house was a lot smaller than Granny and Poppop's house, but 30 minutes to get out and put up ALL the decorations?
My husband was standing proudly by his Christmas tree...still decorated from last year.  (He started the craze of just putting a bag over the tree -lights and decorations and all- and storing it for the next year.)
A good wife would have smiled and made it work.   
My husband tells the story that he asked "Do you like it?" to which I responded with "Get that THING out of my house!"  (Not exactly how I remember it, but he's a good sport and laughs each time he tells someone the story so we'll go with his version.) 
And so for the past 17 years, we've gone each year to pick out a "real" Christmas tree.  I love the smell of the pine in the house and since neither he nor my daughter are into decorating, I get to put the whole tree together myself!
And that's part of what this season is all about...making memories.  So be sure to take time each day as you count down to Christmas Day to do something memorable.  Bake cookies, read a favorite book, watch the Christmas specials on TV with all the commercials (like we did when we were kids), make a favorite meal, decorate the table each night for dinner, make a special breakfast...simplicity makes for memorable moments.