·:*¨Etsy Shoppe¨*:·

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Fat Little Robins

I have to tell you... I honestly didn't think we'd be getting more than a dusting of snow here in Virginia with this "storm". It doesn't normally drop much when it IS here... But then again, I had noted that places like North Carolina was expecting 6-12 inches.

Well, they've only forecasted 4-6 inches of it... And as of right now, there's that much on the ground! It's beautiful! The small flakes that are coming down, though, are typically not so great to drive on once they hit the road- making it for a slippery ride. Even so, I've got four wheel drive (I hail from the north, almost everyone has one!) and think I'll be heading out for a ride up the road to take some pictures in the snow, and to grab a nice hot cup of mulled cider.

Imagine my surprise when I opened my blinds to everything looking like Winter Wonderland!

I was excited... And then I noticed a bird. Wait, not make that 3... No, wait... 10?!

The more I kept my eyes still, the more movement I saw and birds I was able to see perched upon the tree branches. I guess they thought the tree right outside my deck was a perfect place to weather out the storm.

I counted at least 23 of them, before they heard a dog bark and most flew off, most likely to the trees to the side of my building. But they perched there, in the snow, fluffed up fat little birds, just chillin in the snow. I know it seems cold, but don't worry... Their feathers keep them warm.

Of course, I had to snap some pictures of these little plump friends!

How many can you count in this shot!? I swear, the more I looked, the more came over!

Rotund, round, and fat. I think these guys have been feeding well!
(There's 7 of them in the picture above.)

Makes me want to make peanut butter & birdseed pine cones and hang them from the tree branches. This little guy, above, almost fell off the branch next to him... He landed, and it dropped with his weight! Guess he was a little too hefty, so he found a sturdier branch to perch on!

My plan was to crumble some slices of bread for these guys, but they started to fly off before I could do such. I could've gotten more pictures... But I suppose I'll just have to wait until next time! I love fat little birds!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My First...

...Time being featured in an Etsy Treasury!

I'm over the moon tonight!
My Jasper Druzy Necklace not only made it to the Treasury, but it's the middle one in the top row! WOW!

I first must apologize, as I've been working hectic hours this past week... Making up time means 12 hour days, and I'm ok with that... Just very much looking forward to the weekend!
The downside is that I'm not online as much as I'd like to be, or poking around and checking out other artists and sites I'd otherwise be engaged with.

Things could be worse, of course, and that they're not I'm very thankful.
I miss my time online... But... Will have plenty this weekend!!

So I get home this evening after having to deal with horrendous traffic that delayed me nearly an hour from getting home (and I live 12 minutes from work)... Tired.... Mentally drained... Worn... Most definitely looking forward to the sleep I would be getting in a short while. But.

First is first.
Off to check Facebook- personal, and my jewelry page of course!
Off to check Etsy.

Nothing sold... BUT..... A Convo!


Read on:


I was giggling like a schoolgirl. Well, inside I was! Had I actually done so, I'm pretty positive I'd have freaked out my roommate. Instead, out went profuse thanks.... And promptly Hearting Christie's Etsy Shop, The Goblet where she creates and sells some very beautiful jewelry!

Made my way over to her Facebook Page and fanned her... And last, but certainly not least... Followed her Blog!

I'm so excited about this! I could do backflips... But of course, that's not possible given the condition of my back... But... I'm just that happy!

So go on and take a gander at the Winter's Dawn Treasury!!!

Speaking of winter... And being in Virginia. I thought it mighty funny that there's a Winter Weather Advisory for the possibility of snow tomorrow night. It went out this morning- well over 24 hours until the suspected rain/cold-front/snow is expected to hit.

Now, most of you know that I'm a Northern Girl. It says such when you look at my blog in fact.

I just find it completely amusing that the people down here panic the way they do when "inclement" weather is predicted. They have a hard time driving in rain, nevermind snow!!! Having lived in New England for so long, one becomes accustomed to the weather changes. Winter can be either very cold and icy. Or temperate and lots of snow as a result.

Did you know that if it's too cold, clouds actually lose the ability to hold precipitation and therefore it won't snow? I'm full of odd facts. And yes, we had a few years like that- bitter, biting cold. It was awful. Those were winters I definitely did not leave the house without a scarf wrapped securely around my face!

When we get the moderate winters, it absolutely transforms New England into a Winter Wonderland. The postcards aren't lying- it really is that beautiful at times! Like right after it snows, and that fresh crisp cold smell is still in the air. The wind sounds like a whisper through the trees, and the slightest moving of the branches dislodges snow and creates a domino effect... And more boughs drop snow in a white curtain!

Colonial Style Homes which are white, decorated with lighted candles (electric of course!) in the windows that light just enough outside to create a warm glow. 9 times out of 10 a green wreath with a big red bow on the front door. Oftentimes, white or colored lights outlining the eaves of the roof, or decorating the porch. It's beautiful!

I leave you tonight with a few pictures of what home is to me... Enjoy!

Little Christmas Trees in the backyard, on the hill.

My backyard- the White Mountain National Forest.

The Ageless Oak Tree.

Twilight, with the snow still falling.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Jade Calla Lily

It's my favorite flower.

Roses, while very pretty, are so overrated as the "perfect" gifts.

Calla Lilies have always been my favorite. Not for the most common assumption, though.

Yes, I'm totally aware that they're primarily thought of as funeral flowers.
That's right, death flowers. And my argument each time is- if that's the case, what about all the rest of the flowers that may adorn a piece found in a funeral parlor, or at the cemetery for the burial?

The response each time: Silence.

The Calla Lily isn't really a lily. Technically.
The flower sort of emerges from the stem itself- it unfurls into a trumpet-like shape. Delicate and dainty looking- these flowers are quite hardy and are relatively easy to grow and care for. All sorts of colors emerge from the little lovelies- whites, pinks, purples, and two-toned colors as well. Some day, I'll have a garden of Calla Lilies to look at any time I please! In the meantime, I make do with some photographs, and an occasional stem or two from the florist!

Imagine my delight when I came across some hand carved Jade Calla Lilies in one of my favorite bead shops! I couldn't resist, I couldn't say no... I had to have them. There were other carved stones of different kinds- quartz, jasper, and a few others in an assortment of colors- but the Jade ones caught my eye.

Just the slightest hint of green.
Not too large, not too small.
Perfect for projects...
There were only four of them.
And I had to have them.

My problem was... Once I got them home, I had no idea what to make!

So, I took some chain, crystals, and pliers... And let the necklace create itself. After much twisting, cutting, wire wrapping, and maneuvering silver wire and crystals to just the way I wanted... This is what emerged.

A delicate Green Jade Calla Lily Necklace.

I think it would be perfect for a springtime bride as her wedding jewelry. Perhaps for an avid gardner that's usually found in her garden. Or just someone, like myself, that loves the flower just as much as I do. The stone itself radiates light and seems to glow- and the addition of the small bicone crystals adds just a little more sparkle to the piece.

A little extra sparkle is added to the back, where the handmade clasp is decorated with a few more crystals. The necklace itself is 17.5" long, with a 1.5" extender to lengthen it if needed. Just in case you're wondering, the clasp itself is very secure. The loop on the end is just large enough for the chain to be pulled through it, so while situated upon your neck there's really no way for it to come undone. The weight of the stone itself keeps the necklace balanced, and since the decorative crystals are wirewrapped directly to the chain- there's absolutely no way it can come off!

A little more detail.
I do think the other stones have various projects they will emerge in.... One possibility is a sculpted necklace I'll be designing, and perhaps a hair vine with another Calla Lily as the focal point. I will definitely keep you all posted as to how they design themselves into whimsical creations....

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Tips & Tricks- Get Your Silver Sparkling.... QUICKLY!

Who loves to sit and polish silver by hand? Putting the paste on the sponge, rubbing the tarnish on the piece, hoping it comes off... And realizing that after ten minutes of patiently trying to polish the silver- it's NOT coming off.

So... More paste... More "polishing"... More time spent in attempting to get that darn spot off the silver. But- no such luck. It's not budging.

What to do?!

Simple, easy, and it includes everything easily found in your kitchen.
Typically, we use this to get the sterling silverware cleaned for Holiday dinners at our home... BUT... The same technique can be used for sterling jewelry in a pinch.

Ingredients List:

* Baking Soda
* Tin Foil
* Water
* Heatproof Bowl or Pan
* Tea Kettle/Small Saucepan
* Paper Towels
* Mug
* Favorite Type of Tea
* Sugar/Honey

Fill the Tea Kettle or Saucepan with water, and set on the stove to boil. (Microwave can also work if you have a container big enough- boiling takes about 4-7 minutes depending on power)
Tear off a piece of Tin Foil large enough to cover the bottom of your bowl or pan.

Depending on how many items you have, either a bowl or a deep heatproof pan will work. I prefer ceramic- such as Corningware, however Mom likes to do this in our big stainless sink. Scatter your items atop the tin foil, making sure they aren't touching one another.

Sprinkle them with a good amount of Baking Soda. Mind you- they don't have to be completely covered- but a good sprinkling does wonders. Unless your Baking Soda is clumped in the box (like mine does after a while!!) it should come out nice and powdery.

Once the water is boiling, remove from heat and pour over your jewelry/silver in the bowl.

Pour yourself a nice, hot Mug of Tea and add Sugar/Honey to taste.

Immediately upon pouring the water over the items, you should see the silver start to brighten. This is due to an amazing chemical reaction caused by the boiling water coming into contact with the Baking Soda and Tin Foil. While it looks like it's all clean now... Be patient!

Sip your tea, and by the time you're finished- you'll have sparkling sterling silver!

Remove from the bowl/pan, rinse under cool water and lay to dry on paper towels.

Did I also mention that it cleans the stones as well? It doesn't clean quite as well as having a jewelry cleaner and scrubbing the stones with a soft brush- but- as you can see, they have an irresistible luster. Lights, camera, ACTION!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year!

I can't believe we're already in to 2010!
Where HAS this year gone?!?!?!

I celebrated with a few of my gal pals, and we had a great time in town! Blustery weather though- we're expected to get a LOT of snow this weekend. As for me, I'm hunkering down in front of the woodstove at home, and curling up in my new blanket that my boyfriend got me for Christmas. To keep me warm when I can't be with him... Awwwww! Sappy, I know... I can't help it!!

I'm very excited! Other great news...
My parents got me a digital camera for Christmas... YES! They did!
It's almost the same as my one that got stolen, but it's a newer version with a higher Mega-Pixel resolution, some extra options as well... And I absolutely love it. I immediately got to work and took some new pictures... A few of which I'll show you below!

So I'm home for the Holidays.
The White Mountains of New Hampshire.
If you've never been- it's a wonderful place to visit. We're currently getting a Nor'Easter like you wouldn't believe! 8+ inches of snow expected to come in today, and 18-24+ overnight and through all day tomorrow. It's lovely! We don't get much snow down in VA. So yes- I'm hunkered in and loving the woodstove we have!

What to do up here?
Winter you can go skiing at any of the many ski resorts, including Breton Woods, Wildcat Mountain, Attitash Mountain, Cranmore, King Pine, Loon Mountain and so many more! Snowmobiling is also offered at some great places and prices! If you don't prefer to be out and about so much, you can certainly poke around the LOTS of Tax Free Outlet stores! It's wonderful! Stores like Old Navy, Gap, Pac Sun, Under Armor, Bass, Eddie Bauer, Lane Bryant, Banana Republic, Osh-Kosh, L.L. Bean, Eastern Mountain Sports, and TONS of others!!!!

Summertime leaves a great time to come up and go camping- again, plenty of places up around the Valley that you can pop a tent and start a fire, roast (or burn) hot dogs over it, make S'mores, and listen to the wildlife rummaging around. Take a hike on the hundreds of trails, and for those of you that really want to do something interesting- you can even find mineral deposits and mine your own tourmaline, amethyst, quartz and other stones!

Fall is the most popular... Considering the leaves are in full color, and they're so vibrant and bright, it's a common season for leaf peepers to come and look! Fresh pressed apple cider, pumpkin fields, and autumn themed activities... You don't really want to miss out!

But enough of my home... Here's a peek at some of the new pictures!


Related Posts with Thumbnails