Thursday, May 29, 2008

Faith CHAT Neckalce

Here's the latest installment of CHAT jewelry. It's the Faith Necklace.

Bloomin' Time

The irises are blooming and so are the snowdrops. Or, at least I think these are snowdrops. Anyone know for certain?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Thank You to Those Who Sacrificed

Today is Memorial Day in the United States. It's a national holiday commemorating, according to wikipedia, "U.S. men and women who perished while in military service to their country. First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War, it was expanded after World War I to include casualties of any war or military action."

I rode my bike the cemetery and placed flags on the graves of some relatives that served in World War I and World War II. The local chapter of the veterans of foreign wars was there, marching to a small podium. There were so many people tidying grave sites, and planting flowers. Families were gathered. It reminded me of how people in Mexico gather at cemeteries and picnic. It's a celebration that we remember these individuals and the impact they had and have on our lives. Happy Memorial Day.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Talk to ME

My "chat" jewelry is starting to take shape. Here's the first in a series. This one is called, "love" and it has a pretty little dangle of glass and silver beads next to the aluminum finding. The necklace is 12 inches in length with an organza ribbon in black. Watch for more "chat" jewelry.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Help! My Garden is Taking Over

Invasive plants are everywhere. The seeds seem to be germinating by moonlight. How else can they spread so rapidly when I just pulled the plants the evening before? Dandelions, crabgrass, creeping charley, you name it, it's spreading through my garden. I had a moment to draw how I look. Notice, I still have time to wear jewelry, even in the midst of my dilemma. After a nice, long, hot bath (and maybe a glass of wine), I'll be back to beading. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Look at the Process

Here's a quick look at what the metal art looks like before and during the polishing process.

I am in the midst of stamping letters onto aluminum and adding a hole. It may look rough. That's because the metal needs to be smoothed and finished. Once that's complete, the edges are rounded and the piece can be worn next to the skin.

Ribbon or cording of some sort is used so the piece can hang against the skin. Finally, a clasp is added. That's it.

Look for the finished pieces this week.

The classic is gone

My car finally decided to take it's last gasp of breath. Today marks the end for the 20 year old automobile. It was a four cylinder and had 230,000 miles on it before it blew the head gasket. Antifreeze was in the crankshaft. Oil and antifreeze don't mix.

It would have taken mucho dinero to fix the classic. Instead of repairing it, I chose to recycle it. Maybe it'll become a new Chevrolet or tuna fish can.

So, I'm on the lookout for new wheels. Let me know of any leads for transportation. Anything with 22 MPG or more in the city would be great. Of course, 50 MPG is preferred. But, I am being realistic.

I have also entered several contests for new vehicles. Soon I could be driving a Smartcar or a VW Beetle, or a Prius.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Dangle Ring

It moves. This rings moves with you. Every time I wear it, it generates lots of interest.

This ring is made of iridescent green, purple and blue glass beads attached to an adjustable silver-plated ring with silver plated wire. The smallest size is 7 and the ring can be expanded to fit larger fingers.

I named the ring Erin after a woman in my Master Gardener class that adored my creation. Erin's version was made with a variety of red and clear glass beads. It so much fun to wear.

Planting Day

We had some nasty storms here yesterday. And the weather looks just as good today. I just got back from riding my bike and was pelted by hail. Lucky me.

According to weather guru's, May 15th is the last day for frost in Michigan. That means it's safe to plant. Supposedly. You never know what the weather holds on this peninsula.

I'm taking a chance and planting three varieties of leaf lettuce today; sweet, spicy and gourmet. the seeds are from Burpee Seed Company.I also planted mammoth dill and swiss chard amongst my flowers. In a few weeks, the tomatoes will go into the ground. My onions and chives are doing very, very well. If anyone has any onions recipes, please post them. I'm even thinking about freezing my onions. Actually, they are more like shallots.

Happy planting!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Harley Loving Dog

She loves Harley motorcycles. No kidding. My dog loves Harleys. She won't bat an eye at a Honda. A Kawasaki gets a couple barks. But when a Harley roars by, my dog barks. And she whines a little as it goes out of sight. A parked bike will even elicit some barking. How does she know it's a Harley?

My baby was a rescue dog. She was just 7 months old when I found her at the Michigan Humane Society, a rescue organization that offers dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, and at times, a host of other animals for adoption. Zoe was a runaway they found on the streets. The only conclusion we came to was her former owner had a motorcycle.

Zoe has lots of other interesting habits. I'll talk about those in another post. This is one of my favorites photos of her - head out the window of a car and catching a breeze. Ah, spring!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Wooden Bead Necklace

Necklaces seem to enhance summer clothes. At least, that's my opinion. This necklace is comprised of two sizes of wooden beads with silver-plated beads in between and glass beads for accents. The clasp is also silver-plated and the necklace falls mid-way on my chest. (you must remember that I am tall).

This is a necklace made primarily from natural materials. Primarily because I used plastic thread to hold all the beads together. I needed something that was strong and lightweight. A material that would move with a person. I am working on acquiring thread that's used to string pearls.

Non-toxic Drain Cleaner Review

Sinks that won't drain. We've all experienced this phenomenon. Water just sitting in the sink. I have been tempted to use harsh chemicals to get rid of the clog. I've even learned how to take apart the bits of plumbing beneath the sink to clear the pipes. I found a terrific tool. It's called "Zip-it" and it's distributed by Cobra in New Jersey.

What's different about this tool is you don't have to unfasten any pipes. You push the tool down the sink hole or tub drain and remove the tool. Do this a couple of times and you remove the cause of the clog. (Sometimes disgusting). Zip-it is non-toxic, fast, less messy than draining water from the pipe underneath the sink, and affordable - I purchased mine for under three dollars.

I don't work for this company. I am not getting any compensation what so ever. I do believe in the product and have given it as a gift to several people. I've included a link to the site.Click here to go to the ZIP-IT website.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

This one's for me

You can't always find jewelry that goes with an outfit you want to wear. That was my dilemma today. I bought a cute top that had purple, red and yellow dots on a beige background. None of the earrings I had worked with the top. Out came my beads and tools and voila! The Hattie Fox earrings were born.

I call them Hattie Fox after one of my favorite shops that sells lace and linens and all sorts of unusual gifts. Looks like something the store would carry.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sugar Tragedy

How can there be a sugar tragedy? When you buy sugar when it's on sale and put the extra bags in your freezer. A couple of months later, you take out the sugar only to learn that the glue used to seal the bag releases under extreme cold. And you have five pounds of sugar at the bottom of the freezer. I spent the morning scooping frozen sugar out of a chest freezer. Brrrrrrrrr. I won't need air conditioning for a while.

Megan's Bracelet

So delicate. Yet stronger than it looks. Some of the pink stones are transparent and some are opaque. Large and small sparkling and subdued. That's describes a Megan that I know and also this bracelet. A sterling silver clasp completes the look.

Heart Song

I remember a song that used the words, "Heart Song". It always sounded like a happy thing. This necklace makes me happy. It's aluminum and black cord with a sterling silver clasp. And it makes any outfit look polished and complete.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Any Place is Home

I saw these ducks on my neighbor's pool the other day. Looks like the are thinking of moving in.

Neighbors are nice. Good schools, plenty of water. Quiet area. Oh yeah, there are dogs and cats around. But, the pool is a nice buffer for the cats and the dogs can't jump in after the ducks. The ducks look like they've made a commitment.

Wonder who their real estate agent was?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Pink Looks Good on Every Woman

It's true. Pink looks good on every woman. It just depends on the intensity of pink. These earrings are delicate and very lady like. Something for a mom or a sister or friend.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Everyone I know is trying to simplify their lives, including my mother. So, what to get a woman who has everything she needs? A necklace. One with understated elegance and versatility. That's how the Geneva necklace was devised. I used colors that look good on Mom including an amber glass bead, some gray/gold resin beads, purple glass beads along with vintage amethyst beads with silver findings. To make the necklace easier for Mom to wear; a magnetic clasp. So simple. And amethysts are believed to hold powers over dreams, peace, healing, love, courage, spiritual uplifting, psychism, protection against thieves, and a general overall happiness.

Rest assured, she won't know about her gift until I present it to her. Mom only checks the weather and her e-mails on-line.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Summer Bean Salad

I had a request to place my Bean Salad recipe on this site. This is a spicy concoction that's packed with protein. Great for the summer since it's made with vinegar and oil.

1 can garbanzo beans (chick peas)
1 can kidney beans (light or dark)
1 can black beans
marinated artichokes
mild or hot pepper rings
garlic powder
dill weed
hot pepper flakes (optional)
White vinegar (optional)
Cannola or extra light olive oil (optional)

Open the cans of beans. After draining the liquid from the cans, rinse the beans and place in large bowl. Slice artichokes and pepper rings into bite-size pieces and place in bowl. (I like lots of artichokes and peppers) Since I don't measure I am guessing that I put in about a cup of artichokes and a half cup of peppers. Sprinkle a half teaspoon of garlic powder over the mixture. Add about a tablespoon of dill weed. Stir together. (Add hot pepper flakes for a spicier version).

refrigerate for a half hour. Taste the mixture. Add some oil for a richer flavor or vinegar if you prefer food with a bite.

There's no science to this recipe and you can't mess it up. Enjoy!!

Hurray! It's May

Even though we are getting socked with rain this weekend, I am happy. Happy that it's May. Spring has finally arrived in Michigan. With the arrival of spring, I created a multi-strand choker with an aluminum dangle. I used random glass, resin and turquoise beads and here's what's can detach each strand and wear it separately. I like that idea. Some days you might want more beads and other days, less. And I made the dangle myself. (so proud) Punched the hole, rounded and filed the material. This item is not for sale since I have no idea what to charge. If you truly love this necklace, make me an offer :) It is one of a kind.