Gwen's Gems - Make a Wire Jewelry Pattern from a Stencil!

Just popping in to let you know that I'm up on StencilGirl Talk today with the March edition of Gwen's Gems. This month I'm showing how you can use a stencil to create a pattern for wire jewelry - see how I made this wire peacock feather pendant from start to finish!


Make sure you head over to StencilGirl Talk to see the tutorial. (PS... the necklace is now sold - thank you!)


From the Artist Tribe - Boho Fabric Necklace

Linda Edkins Wyatt is joining us today with another inspirational post from The Artist Tribe! I love this handmade boho-style necklace she created... isn't it fabulous?


Linda used sari yarn and pieces from an assortment of Turkmen jewelry parts, along with beads and fabric scraps, to make her necklace. Make sure you swing by her blog to see more photos and get all of the details on how she made her beautiful project!


From the Artist Tribe - Handmade Jewelry Using Embellished Trims!

The Artist Tribe continues to make beautiful and inspiring projects, and today is no exception! Lynda Shoup has a super creative idea to share using embellished trims, stencils, and other goodies to make some fabulous handmade jewelry!


I can't get over how amazing this turned out! (Plus, how cute is Lynda? Seriously!) Here's a little close-up so you can see the bottom part of the necklace:


Talk about out of the box... I would never have thought about that, but now my head is dizzy with all of the new possibilities! Make sure to stop by Lynda's blog to see more photos and get all of the details on her awesome new statement jewelry :D

P.S... if you're loving the trims Lynda used, throughout November all of the beaded and embellished trims in my shop (actually, all ribbons and trims except for sari yarn!) are on sale for 10% off  with the coupon code FancyTrims10.




Mini Mixed Media Medallions

I'm still at it, working feverishly in my studio as I try and finish up the samples for all of the prospective in-person classes I'm offering. The latest samples are for a class I'm calling Mini Mixed Media Medallions. I've used clay, metal findings, beads, and other goodies to make "medallions" (for lack of a better term) that can be anything from a funky statement pendant to an elaborate version of a Lover's Eye (or not so elaborate, but I like everything pretty over the top!)

Here are the three I made as samples:

Mini Mixed Media Medallions - Gwen Lafleur

Of course, I have individual photos and close-ups for each of them... I can't decide which is my favorite. Maybe this one?

Mini Mixed Media Medallion 1 - Gwen Lafleur

It would be a bit big as a necklace, but maybe on the cover of a book?

Mini Mixed Media Medallion 1 - Book Cover - Gwen Lafleur

This might be my favorite too...

Mini Mixed Media Medallion 2 - Gwen Lafleur

It could definitely work as a pendant - a very funky, tribal feeling statement pendant...

Mini Mixed Media Medallion 2 - Close-up - Gwen Lafleur

Last but not least, this one went through a rough phase, but I think I pulled it out in the end and I really love this one too:

Mini Mixed Media Medallion 3 - Gwen Lafleur

Maybe a book cover? More likely the focal point of a larger mixed media piece at some point in the future.

Mini Mixed Media Medallion 3 - Close-up 1 - Gwen Lafleur

There are more photos on the class page along with a class description, etc... (this class isn't scheduled anywhere as of right now, but hopefully it will be!) If you'd like to see this as an online class, make sure to leave me a comment and let me know (I'm keeping track of requests so I know what to work on first when I start putting together online classes.) If you're interested in hosting a class, shoot me an email!




Gwen's Gems - Stenciled Statement Necklaces

Hi everyone, I'm up on StencilGirl Talk today with a new project and tutorial... this month I made nine statement necklaces using stencils as my foundation.

Stenciled Statement Necklaces - Gwen Lafleur

If you hop over to StencilGirl Talk, you can see more photos of each of the necklaces, as well as a quick little tutorial on how I made them. Enjoy!


StencilGirl: Stenciled Paper Beads

Hi everyone, just popping in to let you know that the first post in my monthly blog column, "Gwen's Gems," is up on StencilGirl Talk! (I didn't come up with the name... I'm just trying to live up to it! lol.) This month I'm sharing how to make the stenciled paper beads that I used for my Art is You Stamford trades, plus a bonus project where I made a paper bead bracelet.

Stenciled Paper Bead Charms - Gwen Lafleur
Stenciled Paper Bead Charms - Gwen LafleurHead on over for a tutorial and more photos!

Recent Project Update

I thought I'd jump in quickly and post some of the recent projects that haven't made their way onto the blog yet... just one giant catch-up post!

First up, a bunch of Zentangle pieces / doodles that I've done over the last few weeks. I usually start these in church and then finish at home or I do them in my hotel room when I'm in Chicago. There are a few of those in this bunch...


Next up, a paper layout! I've had this one in progress for a few months and finally finished it up last week. This is from when Francesca and Roberto stopped by to visit me while they were touring the mid-atlantic region.

I have some better pictures on my camera, but if I wait around to do a post with those, this layout will never get shared :-P

Finally, I decided last minute to join Patty at a class up at The Inspiration Station where we learned how to make paper beads - we used Zentangle patterns on them and created a few necklaces. It was lots of fun! I'll have to make more of these.

Taking_another_class..._Making_tangled_paper_beads_to_make_necklaces._Fun___zentangleI'm really glad I decided to go to the class... we had a good time. I don't know if I'd wear these much, but the flag beads could make a really cool 3D collage piece!

Anyway, that's the latest... I have a few things in progress, but I don't think I'll get to them soon... big adventure to go on first! And with that, I'll get back to my mounds of laundry :)


Little pink rings of happiness.

I found this recipe for vanilla bean mini donuts on a blog a while ago and bookmarked it.  Then last week while attempting to relieve a spate of overwhelming boredom, I was going through my bookmarks and found it again.  As I read the recipe, I thought to myself, "self... this actually doesn't look too fattening!  Let's run it through the Weight Watchers recipe builder and see what it says."  Would you believe it was only TWO points for 3 of these little guys?  Or if you're really craving donuts, 5 points for 6 of them.  So really, do you have to ask if I made them?  Duh.

Vanilla Bean Mini Donuts 

I made a few changes... I added almond extract and used egg beaters instead of eggs.  Also, I don't like the flavor of the food coloring so I might skip that next time or use a different brand.  It's a little bitter, but fortunately the flavor doesn't come through much when the glaze is actually on the donuts (I was about out of powdered sugar or I would have ditched the glaze and redone it).  This made five dozen... I put aside a little tupperware for me to have as desserts and put the rest of them in a hermetically sealed container to take to my peeps at school on Tuesday.  (Okay, so it's not hermetically sealed, but hopefully it's nice and air tight.)

Hmm... what else did I do this weekend.  It was super busy and it's all a blur.  Oh yeah.  I went to Archivers and left without buying anything.  Seriously?  I'd say there was something wrong but I made up for it when I treated myself to a trip to Whole Foods yesterday morning.  Mini artichokes, fresh herbs and some other fun goodies I can't get anywhere else here.  I'm planning another Middle Eastern dish tomorrow night as my first artichoke dish.  It looks delicious... we'll see if I pull it off.

I also put together the invite for my sister's baby shower next month.  I can't be there for the shower, so this is my contribution.  Not too bad for a non-digi girl, huh?  I just uploaded them (the non-censored version, that is...) to be printed and delivered to my mom's house.  (Check out the awesome free kit I used from Kristie at The Shabby Shoppe.)

Nicole's Baby Shower Invite Blog Version 

I also did a super quick layout for Steph's wedding album...


And I did another quick necklace and earring set.  I'm not sure what I'll wear it with, but I like it!  The earrings are pretty cool but you can't see them well here.  The dark beads are a reddish brown faceted crystal... really nice color.  The pendant is from a vintage necklace I picked up in a small lot a while ago.

Gold Sunburst Necklace

And in my spare time, I did my Sunday school lesson for Gospel Doctrine today.  It went pretty well, except there's one gentleman who loves to make long and slightly off-topic comments.  He's awesome and normally it's cool, but today he took like half of the time all told.  I'm going to have to think of a way to tactfully deal with that :-P

Don't Make Me Think I'm also doing a little consulting work on the side for some friends at school who are starting up a new web business.  It's kind of exciting to work on something where you have a blank slate, carte blanche and no red tape.  I'm doing a little background reading on web usability and going back over some of my website conversion books before I start working on serious plans.  We'll see what comes of it, but it's definitely stimulating!  I've been reading this book on and off over the weekend and I'm loving it.  He's super funny and there's great information here.

Okay, I think that's it.  Really.  lol... time to hit the sack and get ready for another week!

P.S.  I think I've now gone beyond loving the new Linkin Park to being seriously addicted.  And did I mention that the Avs started training camp this weekend?  Yay for hockey starting up again in a few weeks!

Happy Linkin Park Eve!

I think by the time I finish this blog post, it will be Linkin Park Day... lol - AKA the release of their new album.  I've heard a few of the songs on the radio and I really liked them and I've been looking forward to some new music from them for a while.  Can't wait!

In the meantime, a few projects to post.

First, a layout of Adorable-Niece-Eraleigh that I started yesterday and finished tonight.  She's going to be our little shoe fiend... shoes and bling, apparently.  While we were in Monterey we went shoe shopping and she found these sparkley pink princess shoes that she adored.  Once she got them on, she refused to take them off and we had to put her on the counter to ring them up.  She twirled and showed off her shoes for the rest of the trip.  And now, she also has a second pair of shoes (also pink, I think) that shoot off beams of light when she walks.  I'm just shaking my head.  lol.  So naturally, the layout had to have plenty of pink and sparkle.

She Loves the Sparkle 

And a close-up of my fun little embellishments (that would be my own bling and sparkle addiction.  lol)

She Loves the Sparkle Close-up 

And next, I actually made some more jewelry tonight.  It's been quite a while since I've made any, and I have to admit that I don't wear most of what I've made so far.  I've gotten kind of finicky or something and I've decided that I don't like some of it.  No worries... I'll just remake it all eventually.  But I've been browsing through Etsy lately and marking tons of really cool jewelry.  Today I found this one which heavily inspired the one I made tonight.  I loved it when I saw it, but I thought to myself... "self - you could totally make something like that with what you already have and not have to pay $137!"  So I did.

Silver-Blue Flower Necklace 1

I have to say, I'm really loving it.  I took several findings, mountings and stampings and put them all together with some fun beads.  The pendant is just plastic made to look like cut glass so it's not heavy.  It's a very subtle blue and I think it's the first silver based one I've done which is a bit weird since silver is by far my favorite metal for jewelry.

Silver-Blue Flower Necklace 2

And one more...

Silver-Blue Flower Necklace 3

Blue being my favorite color, I have tons of blue in my wardrobe so I should get some good use out of this set.  Now I might have just enough time to find something I can wear with this tomorrow before it's time to download the new LP :) 

A week in review

I've always wanted to do one of those "Week in the Life" albums that Ali Edwards started but since it's just me and all I do is work, go to school, study and occasionally read and/or scrapbook, it didn't seem like it would be a super interesting album... lol. But this week was a little more eventful so I took to carrying my camera around a lot more than usual.  So here's my week in the life post (aka LONG!)

Monday morning:  the view from my bedroom window when I woke up.  I was not a happy camper.

May 24 Snow

I worked from home... refusing to drive in the snow and the crazy traffic.  By that afternoon it was 60 degrees with no snow in site.  lol.  Just in time to head to meet my study group to finish our big finance project.  I got home from that around 1am which was pretty good, actually.

Wednesday was a super crazy day... we had a big team off-site at my boss' house in Berkley so a bunch of us met up for an early flight to Oakland:

Flight to Oakland

There were about 12 of us total between the locals and the five of us who flew out.  We did team building (partly for my OB/HR project) and then after lunch we had a little baby shower for Melissa.  This was especially fun for the guys on the team, several of whom had never experienced a shower before.

Melissa's Shower 1

So you know how you pass gifts around the room, right?  The guys were a little flummoxed by this tradition.

Melissa's Shower 2

I went back to the airport by my lonesome... everyone else was staying the night but I had to get back for class.  Of course I got through security only to find out my flight had been delayed from 7:40pm until 9:55.  So I picked up a book and went back to check the status - delayed until 11:45pm at this point!  I guess the plane had been grounded in Denver due to tornado conditions or something.  Bleh.  So I landed in SLC at about 2am and made it home just before 3.  Needless to say, I didn't head into work at my usual hour.  But, I just kept clinging to the thought that as soon as class was over I was free!  I took Friday off to give myself a long weekend which leads to...

Friday!  I had gotten crack in my windshield a month after I got my car - the rock hit in the bottom corner on my way to work and when I came out at the end of the day I had a 15 inch crack.  So much for having a chance to fill the chip!  I was trying to out-wait the construction since I was getting hit by rocks regularly, but it was more than 2/3 across the windshield and since I'm taking a big road trip at the end of June, I thought I'd get it done.

Windshield Replacement
I love that they just come to your house!  He also came two hours early so I was able to head over and catch a movie.  I saw Prince of Persia with D-Box seats - I figured I'd give it a try and it was pretty cool!  The seats move and vibrate along with the movie to make it a more intense experience.  It was a bit like those rides at Disneyworld where your seats move with the movie (only not exactly... just the seat, not a ride!)  plus I got a free movie pass for taking a survey afterward.  Sweet!  I'd do it again, that was fun.  The movie was awesome too :)

I also got fun goodies in the mail... a big thanks to Scrapbook Update for this fun blog giveaway!  I can't wait to dig into the Eco-Friendly paints and see how they work.  Great colors, too!

Eco Friendly Paints

Whew!  That brings me to today... I came up to my scrap attic to work on a mini album I started last weekend and ended up getting distracted and making a necklace I've had an idea for for a while.  I'm totally in love with this necklace.  Seriously.

Pink Quartz Flower Necklace

I've wanted to make gemstone flowers for a while and I had these awesome pink quartz teardrops that were perfect.  The clear flowers are glass briolettes with antique brass and pink aluminum findings.  On the bigger flowers, I put vintage pearls and Czech glass seed beads in the center with a big, antique brass filigree flower.  The flowers are wired together and then connected to the strands.  This was the hardest one I've made so far, but it was fun and I absolutely love it... it looks great on too :)

Pink Quartz Flower Necklace - Close-up 1

Pink Quartz Flower Necklace - Close-up 2

Whew!  So with that, this is what my desk looks like, ready for my next project (which is really one I started last week and haven't gotten back to...)

Safari Mini Album - In Progress

Believe it or not, it's been 3 years since Nicole and I went to South Africa, and I still haven't finished the album (okay, that part isn't so hard to believe).  I have tons of pictures from when we went up near Hoedspruit for our safari and I thought I'd do a mini album just for those few days instead of layouts for the main album.  I've got lots of pictures printed out... hopefully I can finish it this weekend, but we'll see.  Lots of other stuff to do.

So that's it for now... off to grab some dinner and a slice of the caramel pie I made today :) (I watched The Waitress last weekend and have been craving pie non-stop ever since.)  It was easy to make so if it's any good I'll post the recipe.


Queen of Hearts

This is been kind of a nice, recharging kind of weekend.  Sleeping, reading, going to the movies... I saw "Letters to Juliet" which I really enjoyed.  Very fun and cute.  As a result I didn't spend any time in the craft attic yesterday, but today I decided to do a few projects.

First, I've seen some fabulous Alice in Wonderland inspired jewelry on Etsy and when I found this strand of glass playing card beads, I knew I had to get them and make my own.  So I did a Queen of Hearts theme - there are some glass hearts on one side and a kind of mask/crown pendant that represents the queen.  I love the colors and the lampwork beads on this one.

Queen of Hearts 2

And a different view (as I now realize I should have taken one of the hearts on the other side.)

Queen of Hearts 3

This one is weirding me out a bit because the main charm is off center, but I like it.  I have no idea what I'll wear it with... thank goodness for the black shirt!

Also, while I was working, I did some browsing on Etsy for inspiration since I was a bit stumped on this one.  I didn't find anything that I used to inspire this necklace, but I found a seller that makes the most AMAZING jewelry!  She's in Bangkok and there was one necklace that I just kept coming back to (okay, there were several... but the others were more than I wanted to spend right now).  Her prices are so good (for this type of thing, anyway) that I ended up buying it.  Since Mom wanted to see it, here's a picture:

Colored Stone Necklace

It's so different from anything I've seen and so totally *me.*  Definitely not a piece you want to wear if you don't want to draw attention!  Here's her Etsy storefront... it's totally drool-worthy.

Finally, I also did a layout... this one about me!  This is from Steph's wedding.  I already scrapped these pictures for her album, but I made extra copies for myself.  I saw Prima's May Build-a-Page sketch on their blog and thought it would work great with the photos.

The stamps, red patterned paper, Say it in Pearls, chipboard accent and flowers are all Prima.  The background paper is the new Basic Grey "Basics" line which I love... some Thickers, Stickles and some ribbon from my stash.

Here's a side view - I did a fun loopy thing with the black ribbon and you can see it a tad better in this picture:

RAGS Side View

Okay, so you can't really see it.  Next time I'll try a different angle to see if I can capture it.  It looks pretty cool, though (if I do say so myself!)

So that's it!  Time to hit the sack and get ready for another week.  I'm about 2 weeks past burnout with school and counting every day of the last 6 weeks before the end of my first year.  I can't wait for a little break!


Happy Birthday Mom!

It's been quite an eventful day!  I have to admit however, that I'm deliberately posting this late at night so that my mom won't see it... she and Rick are on their way to SLC first thing in the morning so I'm betting that at this point, mom won't be checking my blog until after I give her her birthday present in person tomorrow :)  Although it definitely won't be the biggest surprise of the day, I still don't want to spoil it...

So, here's the card - I made a combined birthday / Mother's day card since I'm giving her both presents together.  She and Rick will be on the road driving his car back from Idaho on Sunday so we'll be celebrating a bit early.

Mom's B-Day and Mother's Day Card 

I just love this Sweet Pea image from Papertrey :)

And, for her birthday present I made a necklace and earring set (which probably won't be a surprise at all... lol.)  My mom has always liked jade, so when I found this carved jade flower I knew I needed to build the necklace around it.  I found a little set of light green jade beads to go with it and added some vintage pearl beads from some old broken strands of pearls that I unstrung.

Mom's Jade Necklace

And a bit of a close-up:

Mom's Jade Necklace - Close-up

Of course the biggest birthday surprise of the day was the present from Nicole and Brian... a card that had this in it:

 Blog - Nicole's Ultrasound
I'm going to be an Auntie again!!!  And Nicole, the little stink, is already in her second trimester and just dropped the news today!  Another wee one to spoil :D  The baby is due in the fall and I'm super excited to go home for Christmas now... I'll have TWO little ones to enjoy while I'm home this year!  So exciting...

Congratulations Nicole and Brian and Happy Birthday Mom!

I'm still here!

Things got a little crazy this last week (don't they always?)  I was leading tours at headquarters for 3 days during the NGS conference in SLC - we brought down bus loads of people who wanted to come see the inner workings of Ancestry... it was fun!  Always enjoyable to meet our customers and show them more about what we do, answer questions, etc...  My feet were tired afterward, though!  Also took my Operations final exam, started a new HR class and tried to keep up with everything else.  I'm tired all the time, but that's nothing new :)  Now I'm frantically trying to get my house cleaned up and ready for Mom and Rick to come on Thursday morning, still get my Finance and HR homework done, keep caught up at work and get birthday and Mother's Day presents and cards ready.  I'm having a rough time on the Mother's Day present I decided on... I'm about half way through but kind of stumped.  I need inspiration!!!  I'm worried it's going to look like crap... argh.

In the meantime, I tackled a few smaller things this weekend.  First:

Stacks of Layouts

This monster stack of finished layouts has been steadily growing for months.  I pulled out all of the layouts of Disney / Eraleigh and created albums for them... started a Turkey album and then put any other layouts I had started an album for into them.  The stack is now about half this size... I need to start a few more albums to finish this off!  Oy.


I saw a blog post (which I now can't find... grr...) where they used cheap frames, foam core, cork and lace to make wall mounted jewelry storage (and according to Laura, there's also a store in SLC that displays their jewelry this way).  Anyway, when I saw it I thought to myself, self... that's something you need to do to tame the overflowing jewelry box that's resulted from your insane compulsion to make tons of jewelry.  So, rather than go out and buy anything new, I used some embroidery hoops that I bought a few years ago for another project that didn't materialize, leftover fabric from yet more previous projects, some thick fun foam / styrofoam sheets that have been sitting in a drawer forever along with big Prima flowers and centers, trims and my handy mini glue gun.  Here's what I came up with:

Wall Jewelry Storage - all 3

And some other views of the individual frames (the ones on the sides are 9", the middle is 12"):

Wall Mounted Jewelry Storage

I'm digging it... looks cool on the wall, holds everything just fine and there's room for more!

Finally, a little recipe I came up with.  I'm trying to work on eating better and I wanted to come up with something I could do for breakfast that would be healthy and hold me over until lunch (my mom has always said that oatmeal will do that.  Oatmeal makes me ravenous within about 30 minutes.  lol.)  So I did a variation on a South Beach Diet recipe (which I never actually tried).  These are under 300 calories per serving and have more than 22 grams of protein.  Can't beat it!  Move over egg McMuffin...

Egg and Ham Muffins 

Spray your muffin tin with spray oil stuff (Pam, olive oil spray, whatever)

Take a slice of Canadian bacon and cut it in half and layer the halves in a muffin tin so they overlap and make a little cup (if you put it in whole, it just pops up and makes a mess.  Trust me.  Exhibit A - top right corner above.)

Take a small slice of goat cheese and put it on top of the ham.

Pour Egg Beaters over top until it comes just under the rim of the muffin tin.

A dash of salt and some fresh ground pepper on top.

Bake at 400 farenheit for 15 minutes.

They puffed up beautifully!  (The white spots are little pieces of goat cheese that puffed up with the eggs).  I packaged them up in saran wrap, 2 per serving.  They're stacked in my fridge, just waiting for me to grab some on the way out the door.  We'll see how this works out, but it has to be better than a granola bar!

Alrighty... still got a pile of Finance homework to tackle, so I'm out.

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night!

(That song is now stuck in my head.)  The problem with using Saturday as your day to sleep in is that by the end of the day, you wonder what happened to it.  I was feeling like it was still Friday night just now!  I think I need a vacation.  lol.

Anyway, aside from catching up on sleep, I did get a few things done today... Sunday School lesson... check!  We're talking about Balaam and his talking donkey tomorrow which is always one of my favorite Old Testament stories.  Or one of the most interesting, at least.  Also watched some hockey... sadly, Colorado did not beat my expectations and were ousted from the playoffs tonight.  But nobody expected them to even make it there (me included!) so it was still okay.  Now I'll have to see who wins Caps vs. Habs... at least one of my 3 favorite teams is guaranteed to make it to the 2nd round! 

I've also done a little art journaling this weekend - trying something a bit new.  I've had a Moleskine journal sitting around unused for quite a while - mostly because I was intimidated by all the blank pages, afraid I'd ruin them by putting something on the paper.  I thought the best way to get past this was to just do something, so I took some inspiration from Pam Garrison and just started drawing.  This is all pencil (colored and sketching pencils).  I had a lot of fun with it - I need to think of something to write on here, but for now I'm happy with it because I actually DID something.

  Molskine 1

I followed it up with another page - I sketched a little bunch of these white flowers that are all over the trees here.  They're gorgeous, but they stink!  I threw the flowers away (outside!) after I finished sketching.

Molskine 2

And of course, I had to make a little jewelry.  I decided to do something fun for this week's church outfit.  This is the dress... paired with a little brown cardigan and heels:

Green Dress 

And here's the necklace.  I tried doing it on a display, but for some reason all of the black throws off the camera and it doesn't get enough light for a good shot.  This gives an idea of the length, though...

Red and Green Flower Necklace 1

I've really wanted to do something like this for a while... definitely my most complicated piece so far.  Bronze chain and findings, faux pearls, carnelian beads, and some other plastic and ceramic beads mixed with bronze leaves and lucite flowers and leaves.  Won't it be just perfect with that green dress? (I love that color green too.  So happy!)

Obligatory close-ups:

Red and Green Flower Necklace 2

Red and Green Flower Necklace 3

The pendant is about 55mm - it's a thick, carved shell material (feels like and has a sheen of mother of pearl) with bronze and lucite flowers and a big 'ol plastic faceted bead.  This might be my new favorite :)

Hoping to do some layouts tomorrow... I've got my study group coming Monday night so I have to make sure everything is cleaned up and I'm up to speed on all my case studies first... we're studying for our Operations final on Tuesday night.  Bleh.  But I'm making strawberry shortcake for dessert, so at least it won't be completely awful, right?

Still here!

This week was heavy on homework, projects and meetings at work.  Monday my study group toured the BlendTec manufacturing facility for our Operations class which was really fun.  They're the "Will it Blend?" people - we had to do tour a factory and then do a diagnostic assessment and present our results.  After the visit we stopped for Thai food and then got to work pulling things together for the presentation.  Then I still had all my Finance homework for Tuesday's class / quiz and I didn't end up falling asleep until almost 3am.  We also did our presentation in class on Thursday and the rest of my spare time was spent trying to catch up on sleep.  lol.

But!  Today I had some time to relax and do some fun stuff.  First, I had to run some errands and while I was out, I figured I might as well stop and use my coupon for a new dress.  Since I'm teaching Sunday School again I figured I could justify it, right?  (hee!)  Of course, a new dress also means new jewelry, and Michael's had a bunch of their beads 50% off so I picked up a few strands to match.  My family asked to see the dress since it's kind of funky, with purple, orange and pink in the design.  The website didn't have a picture for some reason, so I scanned it out of their mailer:

New purple and orange dress

I'm going to wear it with a cardigan - I have black and orange and they both look good.  For the necklace, I was torn... I had two different things I wanted to try, so I just gave in and made two necklaces.  lol.  The first one:

Purple and Orange Necklace

The pendant is a vintage piece that I picked up in a lot on Etsy and I just added the beads and chains around it. 

Purple and Orange Necklace Close-up

Then the other necklace I made to pick up on the pink and the modern pattern:

Pink Mod Flower Necklace

The pendant base was on clearance at Michael's and I added a cabuchon and a vintage German chandelier crystal from Etsy.  I took pieces from a 10-foot long pink plastic mod necklace (also Etsy) and added gold chains, rhinestones and the smaller flowers I made with headpins and stacking lucite flowers.  No earrings - I figured I'd wear it with rhinestone studs.

Pink Mod Flower Necklace Close-up

Whew!  With that done, I finally did a layout!  I also broke out my new Cricut :)  I've had it for about a week and haven't had time to play yet, but I did pick up a few cartridges on Ebay (those suckers are way too expensive at regular price!)  I scored some deals so I've got a few to play with now.

This is for Erin:

Cricut in Action 

I just LOVED these new pictures of Adorable-Niece-Eraleigh... I can't believe how big she's getting!  And cuter every day, of course.  I used the sketch from this month's Prima Build-A-Page

Chalk Talk 

Okay, that's it... time for bed!

Another one bites the dust.

Another weekend, that is.  I'm absolutely positive that time moves faster on the weekends than it does during the week.  Why is it that Saturday NEVER seems to drag by when Monday lasts forever?  Anyway.  I had lots of good intentions to do projects this weekend and didn't really get to any of them.  I spent quite a bit of time working on my Gospel Doctrine lesson for today and then tonight I spent some time with my Finance textbook.  Super fun!  But I decided that I had to do something fun before the weekend was over, so tonight I put together the next necklace on my list of jewelry that I really wanted to make.

Gold Medallion and Watch Face Necklace

This one is a fun combination of other jewelry that I took apart and re-purposed.  I had an old stone necklace that was one of three a friend gave me years ago that I never wore - the beads were gorgeous but the necklaces were too short and not really my style.  The gold medallion was the focal point of a chain link bracelet I picked up on clearance and the watch face was a pendant from another necklace.  I took all of them apart and re-used the chains in this necklace and added some other stuff.  (Yes, those are tiny little elephants.  I love elephants.  lol.  I also love adding something just a bit unexpected and whimsical.)

Gold Medallion and Watch Face Close-up

I really need to find something I can use to display my jewelry for photos, but I haven't found a torso prop big enough for my necklaces... some of them (like this one) are pretty long.  lol.  I should get something to cover up my stained desk in the meantime.  Oh well!

P.S. - I wore the necklace from my last post to church today and got tons of compliments.  I was told that it was very Jennifer Love-Hewitt in Ghost Whisperer.  I've never seen the show, but I think it was a compliment :)

More fun with jewelry!

Just popping in quickly to post some pics of the necklace I just finished...

But first, YAY!!! The Avs are going to the playoffs!  I'm super excited that they actually got in.  Hopefully they make it through the first round, but regardless, it's great that they made it after the disaster that was last season and all the re-building over the summer.  Should be fun to watch.

Now, for the necklace, I finished with the pendant I posted a few days ago.  Here's how it turned out:

Pearl Flower Necklace 

I took pieces of the chain that came with the original necklace where I got the violet jeweled pendant with the gold tassel and mixed them in with some small brass stampings and some beads.  Then I took pieces of a vintage faux pearl necklace and added it in - it's a bit over the top, but that's what makes it fun :)

Pearl Flower Necklace Close-up
This one was quite fun and I really love it.  I think I'll have to wear it tomorrow :)

Happy Easter!

And of course, not to be forgotten, Happy Birthday Dad!  It was yesterday, but I was a non-posting slacker.  I did call home and I got to be on the phone to sing happy birthday with the family and listen while he opened presents.  They made me extremely jealous with all of the talk of the Baskin Robbins chocolate peanut butter ice cream cake.  Yum.  It sounds like it was a great birthday, and here's hoping for many more!  Here's a quick shot of the card I made to send with the present:

Dad's Birthday Card

Not my best effort at stamping words, but it's the sentiment that counts, right?

And... for today, I took my basket of froofy Easter eggs and added some candy for this year's grown up Easter basket (this is for Mom who was worried that I didn't have an Easter basket for myself.  lol).

2010 Easter Basket
I had Lindt chocolate mini eggs, a few saran wrapped pieces of my favorite Sees candy and a Hershey's bunny, a Cadbury caramel egg and a Butterfinger egg. Yum!

I spent most of the weekend watching General Conference, which was wonderful as always... but I still got a few other things done.  First, a layout.  I printed these photos of Adorable-Niece-Eraleigh weeks ago and never made the layout.  Since I was officially a few holidays behind, I thought I should get to it.

Valentine Sweetheart

I had some fun playing around with this one... I took the tags and cut out squares to make frames and then misted them and added fun trims and Japanese masking tape along with flowers and hearts cut from a sheet of Making Memories patterned paper.  Some fun vintage lace down the right side of the layout and Pink Paislee chipboard letters.

Finally, I decided that just because I was "finished" with a piece of jewelry didn't mean I couldn't go back and change it if I thought of something that would have made it look better.  I mean, duh.  It's not that hard.  So I made some changes to my seahorse necklace and updated my previous post with new pictures.  Nothing drastic - just subbed in some copper colored beads in place of blue ones to tie in the pendant better.  I like it even more now :)

I didn't complete any new pieces this weekend (that pesky house cleaning and laundry crap got in the way), but I started assembling a new pendant - I'm waiting for the E-6000 to dry so I can keep working.  Here's a quick look at where it's at:

Pearl - faux amethyst flower pendant 1

The flower is a mother of pearl carved one that I got for like $2 on Etsy... the jeweled part on the front was a pendant from a bunch of vintage necklaces I picked up.  I cut off the bail and sanded it down and glued it to the flower - I'll save the chain and either use it here or later.  I glued a new bail to the back of the flower and added some brass findings and jewels.  I don't know why the small jewels look so blue in the photo - they're violet.  I'm not entirely sure where I'm going with this one... I'm making it up as I go :)

Tomorrow night is the Muse show at the E-Center and I'm SUPER PSYCHED!!!  I'm meeting up with Rae at my place where we're going to fix dinner and then meet Steph and Mike for the show.  I'm still trying to figure out how to get a camera in now that I just have an SLR... I'll think of something.  I can't wait, though.  They're sooooo amazing live.  Of course, I didn't put two and two together until earlier today when I realized that Muse on Monday night meant that I couldn't call into my Monday conference call with my study group and that also meant that Monday night was out for working on Finance homework.  Doh.  So I spent several hours this evening working on that.  Fun, huh?  (Maybe if I'd gotten online yesterday instead of slacking and doing housework I'd have realized that and started yesterday.  Oops.) BUT!  While I did homework, I witnessed my own little Easter miracle - the Avs actually won a game! They're still in the playoff hunt! (jinx!)  Obviously it was a bit of a non-traditional Easter chez moi, but it was still fun, peaceful, relaxing and very uplifting.  Now it's time to get ready for another week!

I'm hopelessly addicted.

First, let me just say "thank you!" to everyone for the lovely comments about the PageMaps sketch contest.  I'm still buzzed.

As for what I'm currently addicted to, three guesses (if it starts with a "j" and ends with an "ewelry," you nailed it!)

Here's what I did while I watched the Avs blow another game tonight... (I'm looking at it this way.  If they don't make the playoffs, I have more time to spend on homework and hobbies and such instead of watching more playoff games.)

Seahorse Necklace 1

This is a result of my absolute love of aquariums and my total fascination with sea horses.  I'm totally going to wear this (I'm wearing it now, in fact.)  In case you haven't guessed, my taste in jewelry isn't all that subtle.  lol.  Here's another view:

Seahorse Necklace 2

Look Mom!  It's monochromatic!  (heehee... I couldn't resist.)  

I mixed some store bought (sales and coupons, of course!) with bargain bin and found objects.  I had a bag of old metallic necklace strands and this one with the plastic silver balls was the perfect length and compliment for the other strands.  I had to do some creative wire wrapping to attach it, but I'm pleased.  I just wish I had mixed in some rust colored beads to set off the focal pendant more.  Oh well!  It still looks good and I'll remember to think of that kind of thing for next time.

I also did a quick page in my art journal... this is an idea I've had for a while based on some cool fortunes I've gotten in fortune cookies.  I pasted my two favorites onto the page, including the one that predicted Steph's wedding back in May of 2009 (I'm so not kidding!  I marked the date and saved it... I had a feeling as soon as I got it that it would be Steph, and just a few months later she announced her engagement.  True story!)

Art Journal - Fortune Cookie Wisdom

I used all kinds of goodies from China... the rice paper calendar pages are awesome when you decoupage them onto a gesso covered surface... I also added some little embellishments that were actually from the charm swap our tour group did.

That's it!  I'm just hoping that the snow is gone in the morning (it's our annual April Fool's storm).  I'm so tired of Winter!  It's time for Spring. Seriously.


Happy Saturday!

It's a beautiful day here today... I've enjoyed working up in my attic with the window open - some sunlight and a nice breeze really make it lovely.  I'm running (as always!) to get ready to head up to Ogden for Steph and Mike's housewarming, but I thought I'd post a few things first...

More wedding layouts for Steph (I wanted to get the album done tonight, but even without the other projects I did this week I still wouldn't have had time... too much still to go!)

Steph Wedding pg 8

Steph Wedding 9

I hate scanning lumpy layouts... it made that second one look all crooked and it isn't.  Oh well... I could take pictures, but I wanted to do them all the same way so I can burn them onto a CD.  I may rethink that... lol.

And I did another necklace this weekend - I'm actually hoping to wear it tonight so I hope all the glue dries while I'm getting ready.  I had a lot of fun with this one - inspired by one I saw on Etsy, but I added a lot of my own touches so it's pretty *me*.  The flower in the center is polymer clay with some brass leaves tucked in for fun and some watch parts and glass seed beads to finish it off.  I even made earrings! 

Flower - Butterfly Necklace 

Flower - Butterfly Necklace Close-up 1

Flower - Butterfly Necklace Close-up 2

I have ideas for two more necklaces, but I'm not sure how much time I'll have tomorrow... we've already gotten our homework assignments for next week's new classes.  Sigh.  I also have to help teach Gospel Doctrine tomorrow so I need to get work on that (which I found out about like 2 hours ago... thanks for the notice!)  I'm a gospel doctrine teacher again at church, so I guess it's time to get back into that study habit anyway. 

Okay, now I'm running late... off to see Steph and Mike's new place!

A little birthday post

(Warning!  Long post!  For such a busy week I'm really surprised at how much I have to share... of course I've been working on bits and pieces for a while and I guess it's just all coming out at once.)

Happy (Belated) Birthday Melody!  I hope you got your package... otherwise, don't look!  Okay, I guess you can look, it's just the card :) 

Mel - BDay Card Outside

And a peek at the inside before I wrote in it...

Mel - BDay Card Inside

I also love throwing in little goodies for my favorite 9-year old, Angelina... I made her a little mini album kit to do her own scrapbooking.  I thought it would be fun to wrap it up cute, so I took a plain brown paper bag and stamped on it (I adore these Dear Lizzy stamps!)  Added her name and filled it with goodies.

Angelina Mini Album Kit Bag

And... another necklace with matching earrings.  I just couldn't wait to use this fun pendant that I scored for cheap on Etsy.  I found these awesome beads that don't really match and yet they go perfectly.

Necklace 2 - bronze studded pendant

Necklace 2 - bronze pendant close-up

I don't know why it took me so long to start making my own jewelry... this is fun!  

And then my last project for today... I mentioned in my last post that I had been painting eggs while scrapbooking.  I decided to do a fancy little Easter basket for myself this year.  I got the papier mache eggs at Michael's for $2 and then found this super cute basket for cheap + 40% coupon (nice!)  All of the decorating was done with stuff I had on hand (granted, I have a LOT on hand.)  I only made 6, but maybe they'll grow each year or something.  Here's the basket of eggs:

Fancy Easter Basket

I would be totally remiss here if I didn't give credit to my source of inspiration... I adore these fancy decorated ostrich eggs.  I would LOVE to get some this size!

Close-ups of the ones I did:

Fancy Easter Egg 1 

Fancy Easter Eggs 2-3

Fancy Easter Egg 4

Fancy Easter Egg 5

Fancy Easter Egg 6

Okay, I'm done now.  Really... I had a busy day at work and then went to class and took my Managerial Accounting final so now I'm bushed!  So glad tomorrow is Friday!!! I'm ready for the weekend.


Okay, before I explain the title, I have to share.  This was waiting for me in the mailbox today.  I felt like a kid on Christmas when I saw it.  Seriously.

Journalfest Registration Packet

My registration for Journalfest is official!  And I got my first choice classes!  And I absolutely LOVE the handmade folders that Teesha made for us.  I've already started collecting bits and pieces for my classes and for my travel art journal kit when I go.  And how serendipitous that I've been working on that Venetian themed piece?  The Journalfest theme is Masquerade (because it takes place over Halloween, of course) and we're encouraged to bring a handmade mask for the festivities.  I think I need to find a papier mache mask blank so I can go to town!  I can't wait!

So for the rest, I really had a lot of fun today... I've never done anything with polymer clay and I've never really made any jewelry (I was a total failure at making friendship bracelets from embroidery thread... totally dating myself with that one, but anyways, I'm not sure that counts.)  I absolutely love big, chunky, eclectic costume jewelry, though, and I have tons of it and wear it all the time.  I also really like steampunk, assemblage and vintage - especially if it's a mix of any of the three!  So when I was surfing Amazon while I was trying to stay awake in class one night, I came across this book.

I immediately fell in love with the elephant on the back cover and ordered it.  I then proceeded to carry it around with me and pour over it, wondering if I could actually do any of it.  I've actually already had to tape some of the pages back in I've gone through it so much! (And I'm thinking of taking one of Christi's online classes too).  So I thought I'd give it a try... I went to Michael's with my coupon and did some browsing... I found this silver branch pendant on clearance (although it's still full price at the one in Draper!  Go figure).

Silver Branch Pendant 

I immediately had ideas for how I could use it, so I grabbed it and used that as the base of my project.  And this is what said project looked like at about 5pm today.

Blog - First Necklace in Progress

(Note my copy of Steampunkery in the background.  lol)  I finally got the main piece done and went down and baked it for an hour while I ate dinner and watched Harry Potter on ABC Family (switching occasionally to watch BYU get their butts whooped by Kansas State in March Madness.)

After dinner I came up and started working on the chain.  I had no idea what I was doing.  It was a total revelation to me that one package of findings that included head pins, jump rings and clasps could easily get used up in just one project.  (Note to self... get more silver headpins with the loops on top).

But.  Finally.  I had a finished product... well, finished as soon as the E-6000 finishes drying.  But it was enough to take pictures.  Considering that I've never worked with polymer clay or made jewelry, let alone combined them, I think I did a pretty good job!

Blog - First Necklace

And a close-up of the pendant...

Blog - First Necklace close-up

(I really need to take photos in daylight.  lol).  Kind of funky, steampunkish with a touch of vintage (one of the gears even turns!  As long as I don't break it, anyway :).  Now I just have to figure out what outfit I can wear to church tomorrow that will go with this.  And then I can start plotting my next project.  I've been feeling inspired for so many different projects that I feel like I need to start making my own creativity backlog!  We'll see how much I get to this week... I have a final paper in Global Negotiations due on Tuesday and my final exam in Managerial Accounting on Thursday... I probably should have been studying today, but it was totally impossible.  lol.  Maybe tomorrow ;)