Macro Sunday - Unexpected Beauty!

Cabin in the Woods
It’s “girl’s weekend” at the cabin and what a beautiful weekend it is!

The weather has been heavenly - especially compared to what’s happening in Phoenix right now.

Since I was going to be at the cabin when it was time to post for "I Heart Macro" this week, I decided I'd capture some pics up in the mountains for posting.

I set out on a walk in the woods and found beauty in many things; even things that were burned. 

Burned Log - Do you see the "Turtle"
peeking out of the charred wood?
How about the "Heart" on his nose?
Between some of the burned trees that lay on the ground there were bunches of little flowers and their colors were lovely and the grass has come in so green from the rains – it was amazing!

There was even beauty over at Grandma Emma’s cabin.  It is still very sad and I choke back tears each time I'm there, but I chose to be open to seeing beauty this time and I felt a very calm and comforting feeling come over me when I walked up to where the cabin once stood. There was something very calming, almost soothing, about standing in the midst of all the rubble.

Remains after the Wallow Fire

Beauty really was still present.  There, among the chaos of shattered glass, twisted metal and charred remains, was a key.  I took that as a sign; a symbol if you will, of a new beginning. Keys unlock doors. Doors lead to the future and the future can hold whatever you want it to – the choice is yours!

Here's to finding beauty in all things!

"Key to the Future"

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Beautiful Meanings!

Be sure to hop on over and check out all the cool pics for "I Heart Macro" over on Studio Waterstone's Blog. Lori Plyler puts together a really cool bunch!

Fiber Fetish!

Since blowing out my elbow in February and having to scale back on smacking metal around, I've been using more fibers, cords, leather, yarns, etc. and have been enjoying the daylights out of it.

The colors and textures are so yummy and luxurious - it's a whole new world!

Today, my sis and I are playing around with some of the fabrics and gadgets we purchased during the Gem and Mineral Show in Tucson (Go Wildcats!!)  this year so I thought I'd share a couple of pics of a few past designs I've done using some of  the wonderful Recycled Sari Silk Ribbon and yarn I have.

Once I get pics of the other bracelets and necklaces I have, I'll post them - they're pretty cool designs with charms and bead/gemstone dangles using various colors, textures and techniques.

What types of materials are you into right now and what are you creating this weekend?

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Beautiful Fabrics!

Lovin' the Sounds!

I was reading MissFickleMedia's Blog this morning and was in awe as she showed all the hammering and forging she had just finished.  My elbow now aches in sympathy for her!

If you're a fellow jewelry designer or craft person, you really gotta go check out her shop and all the goodies she has stocked - oh my!! Seriously,....she's got amazingly cool findings!!

She asked the question of "What do you use to get through tedious, difficult tasks?" and it made me wish I could be creating today and listening to Jesse Cook - which is what I do almost every time I'm doing any sort of creating at all - tedious and difficult or not.

If you've never listened to his music, you're in for a real treat. The infusion of Rumba and mixing of cultures into his music creates the most amazing sounds ever - not to mention it's just fun to 'tap, tap, tap' your hammer to!! 

Logan with Jesse Cook
In Wickenburg, Arizona
a few years back
Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Great Music, Baby!!


Turquoise and Wood
MiShel Designs Necklace
From the 2009 Collection
Chrysoprase Beaded Wrap Bracelet

The cooler temps and rain coupled with the smell of the pine trees is going to be a welcomed change from the excessive heat of the Valley as I hang out with my sis and some girlfriends this weekend.

When I’m up in the mountains, my design style turns more rustic; sort of fall-like, which is good since fall is right around the corner.

Gathering Spot
I love sitting on the porch drinking coffee with my sister in the morning or swinging on the porch swing in the evening while sipping wine and chatting with my friends,….all the while enjoying the beauty that surrounds the area.


The Famous Tree House
Amazingly (miraculously, actually!!) there are still tall pines surrounding the cabin and although you can see reminders all around from the devastation of the Wallow Fire that burned so much of the area this summer, there’s bits and pieces of beauty, new life and hope.

"Grandma Emma's" Cabin
Burned in the Wallow Fire of 2011
Although the loss of some things can be devastating, the opportunity for rebirth and for growth lies beneath the ashes and reminds us that “within every adversity, lies the seed for equal or greater benefit” (Napoleon Hill) and if you’re willing to look close enough you will see the hope of a new tomorrow!

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Beauty, Baby!!

The Beautiful White Mountains of Arizona

"Getting Smashed"

With tons of things on the “to-do” list today and tomorrow, from a conference call, an afternoon appointment, shuttling the son to/from school and sports practice, to “Academics Night” at the high school and then also getting my “boobs smashed” (yep ladies – this is important – don’t forget your annual mammograms!!) there’s no time to create jewelry before I leave for my sis’s cabin for the “Girls Retreat” this weekend.

Most of you are stuck back there on the “Boobs Smashed” thing, aren’t you? 

Well, as most of my friends and family know I usually do a shout-out each year for this – it’s my annual “Takin’ the Girls Out and Getting’ ‘em Smashed” campaign. Bringing a whole new (and positive) meaning to the term - “Getting Smashed”.

I’ve been doing this ‘campaign’ as I call it since before I had a blog and all I could do was email all my girl friends and family members and tell them how important this is and not to forget to do it! 

I mean no disrespect what so ever to anyone when using the words “getting smashed” and don’t use it to promote drinking and driving. I’m actually trying to bring a whole other meaning to the phrase – a positive one - in hopes that it will take over the other meaning and in the process put some light and levity into the situation.  Most people aren’t as open to talking about personal issues and things of this nature – and that’s okay, I am.

So, here’s my annual plea.  Take your ‘girls’ out this year and go ‘get ‘em smashed’ for the sake and safety of yourself and all those who love you. 

As I’ve said before, make it a fun day with your girl friends. (You’ll have to plan this in advance because as you know making appointments for these types of things doesn’t happen instantly).  Get a group of girlies together and all of you head over to the Mammo-Place and “get smashed” and then afterwards go out for a nice lunch or dinner and celebrate being the loving, caring, creative, positive and strong women you are!

Please, even if you go by yourself and just remind your girl friends and family members online or via text, twitter or whatever – take careof yourself - and let’s help raise awareness for this. I believe awareness can save lives!

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and let’s “Save the Ta-Tas”!!

I Heart Macro - It's Sunday!!

I snapped this pic of our son while driving to Kansas this summer for a Family Reunion - he wasn't into getting his picture taken (ya think?!). Teenagers - can't live with 'em, understand 'em, or reason with them, but you gotta love them (and their smelly socks!) especially when they're your own! And I do,....even w/the IPod thingy in his face, I can still see his gorgeous 'eye' and tousled hair,...cuteness all around!

click to see his 'teeth'
See, he is smiling!!
However, I did find a very willing participant in the photo department once we got to my sister-in-law's house.

Her yard was buzzing with the cutest dragonfly and he was such a great sport about letting me snap some shots of him up close - I mean really UP CLOSE! He even smiled - can you see his "teeth"?
Look at those gorgeous wings!

Well, I'm telling myself those are teeth and that he was smiling for the camera!! Yep, the hubby's family probably thought I was on drugs as I was intent on getting this little guy to pose for the camera - he seemed to love the attention!

Look at that cute face! And those wings,....he (she?) was amazing!!

"Smile for the Camera"
Fly on over and check out I Heart Macro at Studio Waterstone and all the cool MACRO pics. After all, it's Macro Sunday folks,...time to sit back and look at the world up close and reflect on life just a bit,...before those pesky teenagers get up and want to eat you out of house and home!!

Until Next Time,

Peace, Love and Smiling Dragonflies!!

Studio Waterstone

The Big Reveal - of Beads, That Is!

My package arrived last week with beads from my Bead Soup Blog Party Partner Melissa over at Behind the Smile and boy are they fantastic!!

Look at the goregous Focal Bead she made for me!!  I love it!  What types of designs do you see when you look at all these goodies? Yummy aren't they?!!

The colors she chose are very out of the norm for me which is SO exciting.  My brain is on over-load with ideas to the point where I have no clue WHAT I'm going to even attempt to create!

It's funny, but after we both got our packages from each other, she noticed we both sent opalite - different shapes/sizes and all,...but still, funny!!

She mentioned that the green leaf beads are her favorite shaped ones at the moment - I can definitely undestand why - they're FABULOUS!

I hope you all had a great week and that your Friday and entire weekend are packed with creativity and fun!

Until Next Time,

Peace, Love and Beautiful Beads!!

Up Close

I've been admiring the 'I heart Macro' pics and following along over on Studio Waterstone for a bit now and decided to hop on in and try it myself.

When it's not a bazillion degrees here in the desert, our rose garden produces the most beautifully colored roses - they're amazing.  The hubby prunes them and keeps the landscapers from butchin' them to pieces each month (they're not allowed to touch his roses!!) 

He brings me vases of roses all the time and puts them in my studio so I can enjoy their beauty and their amazing smell!

Right now it's a bit hot out and they're nowhere to be found, so looking back on some of the pics of them makes me smile and long for cooler days and more roses!

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Beautiful Macro Roses!

Pssssst! Want in on a Secret?

I mailed out my mystery bead mix to my Bead Soup Blog Party Partner, Melissa Pynn, of Behind the Smile Blog! Check out Melissa's many talents over on her awesome blog!

Wonder what cool jewery design she's going to create with what's inside this cute little pink package that I've tied with this Recycled, Fair Trade and Child Labor Free, 100% Silk Yarn from Nicole over at Darn Good Yarn?

Hmmmm,...what's that? You want to see what's inside the package?!  Yeah right! I can't do that! 

I could show you a "smudged up" or "puzzled-out" picture that I created over on Picnik, but then you'd know the colors I sent and I want Melissa to be the first to see those! And, I know she'll reveal what she gets once she opens them!  So you better keep up with her blog to find out! 

And, whatever she designs, is gonna be cool! 

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Beautifully Packaged Surprises!!

This and That Today

Okay – remember these?  My hubby made this quite a few years back for me (and a ton more, too!!).  I think I’ll take it for a spin Thursday when I meet up w/my friend to deliver her bracelets and go to lunch!

These are so fun and such conversation pieces – wish he still made them.  I love the ‘artsy’ touches the really nice cigar boxes have! He made one for my friend Kathy that has coffee beans in it that you can see (and switch out, too, so the smell stays fresh) through this glass plate kind of thing – it was way cool!

Then, as I was putting everything back from our summer trip and getting the studio back to normal yesterday, I came across this picture of when I dumped one of the desk drawers all over the floor while trying to “re-organize” a few months ago.  Kind of like when you open your cigar box purse too fast – yep, don’t want that to happen while I’m out and about this week!  Phones and electro-gadgets are too expensive to just toss around these days, aren’t they?!

I’m excited to get some pics snapped today of the stash of beads I’m sending to my bead soup partner – Melissa with ‘Behind The Smile”.  I’ll try to post some ‘sneaky’ pics tomorrow.

Today I’m trying to get things ready and back up in my jewelry findings shop on Etsy.  I’ve had tons of requests for earring wires and clasps and things – so I am hammering away today and tomorrow and snapping pics like mad of the new things.  Not sure how the elbow will hold up – hopefully okay!!  It’s been a good summer of resting it – but it still hurts to pick up a cup of coffee! I was able to shovel sand into sand bags a month ago, yet I couldn’t tie the little suckers – it hurt my elbow like the devil to pull those strings – strange is what it is.  Go figure!

Anyhoo – I’ll let you know when things are back up and running over on Shel’s Jewelry Supplies. I’ll only be adding listings once a month this year and once things are gone, they’re gone until the next month (elbow thingy!!) and so I’ll try to make as much as I can so folks can stock up. 

Until Next Time,

Peace, Love and Tap, Tap, Tap,…

My First Bead Soup!

I'm getting excited for my first "Bead Soup Blog Party"!! And no, you don't exchange soup recipes on your blog. Although that would be rather yummy - this is probably a bit more colorful!

Lori Anderson's having a Bead Soup Blog Party over on her blog "Pretty Things" and there's a BA-Zillion people signed up! (Well, almost!)

I've peeked in on some of the past Bead Soup Blog Parties and have completely drooled over the beautiful pieces folks have put together out of the beads they were sent. There are some talented people out there, that's for sure!

I've got my focal bead, my clasp and my other beads all put together and am waiting to see who my soup partner is so I can send them off this week. I hope they like what I've picked out. I'd love to post a pic of what I'm sending, but I'm not sure that's allowed!!

I must say though, that they're pretty 'safe' - color wise - and not too risky or anything. I know I'd love to get them and create something beautiful out of them, so I'm guessing it'll be okay! But, you want to know what's totally freaky?  I didn't include one single pearl - NOT ONE!  That's the most unusual thing I've done all week - so out of character for me. But, I'm not going back and 're-doing' my bead soup mix that I'm giving away because I love the focal bead and the clasp too much and the beads I picked go quite well with them - pearls just didn't make the mix this time! Oh my,...pearls not making the mix,...that just hurts to say! 
"Pearl Stash" from one of my trips
to the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show

Any Hoo,.....Go ahead and hop on over to Lori's blog - "Pretty Things" - and check out the details of the Bead Soup so that next time around, you can participate too!

Have a great week everyone!!

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Here's to a Cup of Bead Soup!
"Peace Baby"
Labrodorite and Kyanite Bead "Sculpture"