Gotta Have Faith Charm Bracelet

March 31, 2010

One of my muses (I'm not sure which one) guided me to create this Gotta Have Faith Charm Bracelet today:

"Faith."  It's as simple as that.  And as complicated as that, I guess.  It seems rather fitting that the bracelet arrived the day before Holy Thursday.  Sometimes we forget what Easter week is really all about.  Anyway, really, this is a COINCIDENCE, I swear, that I made this today.......

This silver-plated double tier bracelet is approximately 7 1'4" long with a lobster claw clasp.  The charms include a church, a dove, an angel (I know, I know) a fish and of course the letters spelling out "faith."  The beads include cracked quartz (which gives a nice sparkly effect) as well as brown and green acrylic bead charms.  I think I might just have to wear this one!

The week's been long in the sense that it's the second week of spring break in our house.  Yes, I said SECOND week.  Last week the girls were home for a week and this week my son is home for the week -- their schools have different spring breaks!  AAaaarrrgh!  Well, at least all are looking forward to Easter and what the Easter bunny might bring!  Next to Christmas, this is a great time to be a parent.

Normally we have a grand Easter Egg Hunt for about 100 people each year around now.  Only this year things were just too hectic to pull it off.  Hopefully we can reinstitute it again next year.  The kids do love it so.  Any Easter traditions at your house?  

"Faith is for that which lies on the other side of reason.  Faith is what makes life bearable, with all its tragedies and sudden, startling joys."
~ Madeleine L'Engle

Sundance-inspired Drop Necklace

March 30, 2010

Okay, so I REALLY like (LoVe) the jewelry from Robert Redford's Sundance catalog.  So much so that I've created another piece of jewelry inspired by one of his artists' creations.  (For my other piece, see my March 26, 2010 post entitled Sundance-inspired Chain Drop Earrings and Tutorial.) This time it's a necklace.  Mine looks like this:

His looks like this:

A little different, but I like the way mine turned out.  He calls his the Neo-Necklace.  What I loved about it was its simplicity.  Like Sundance, I mixed and matched stones/beads and metals to create a one-of -kind adornment.  Mine is 24" long, not including the drop.  It's made of crystal and pearl beads, a silver charm, and antique brass, vintage copper and gunmetal chains all woven together to create its unique look. Here's another look:

And my favorite looks like this:

It was SO easy to make, once I'd figured out what I wanted to use.  It's as light as a feather and really sparkles in the light.  Yay!  If you get a chance, go over to the Sundance catalog and check out their great stuff ~~ clothes, too (to die for!).  They may be pricey, but sometimes a girl has to have what a girl has to have:)  Enjoy! 


Holiday with Matthew Mead Giveaway

March 29, 2010

Psssstttttt.....I just found something I really want to share that could help you and your blog or online shop get some recognition.  I know that Christmas seems like its awfully far away, but really, there's no time like the present to get in the spirit of things!   

Head on over to:

to see how you can win the opportunity to have your blog or online shop mentioned in the magazine. Holiday with Matthew Mead is a "book-azine" celebrating and offering inspiration for the Christmas holiday season. To be released in October 2010, Holiday is offered via online orders only - in limited quantities - and will not be sold on newsstands.

But, by simply following the BUY HOLIDAY MAGAZINE link below their banner, you can reserve your own copy of this beautiful magazine, with guaranteed delivery of the magazine straight to your mailbox! Holiday with Matthew Mead is144 pages of holiday inspiration with well-known and admired designers, bloggers and top-notch features, printed on beautiful paper and not drowning in ads!

I know that I can't wait to get started on designing my 2010 holiday jewelry collection!  How about you?

Now, head on over for your chance to win!

Sundance-inspired Chain Drop Earrings Tutorial

March 26, 2010

As promised, my first tutorial, so bear with me folks!  I haven't even made any earrings yet but these cried out to me from the latest Robert Redford Sundance catalog:

I tried making the photo larger but it got all fuzzy on me so sorry.  Anyway, LoVe these earrings!  Don't you?

To start, I pulled together the following:


2 eyepins
2 beads
4 spacers
4 lengths of chain, each 1 1/2"
10 decorative jump rings
4 larger decorative jump rings
2 earwires

First you place the eyepin through one spacer, then the bead, then another spacer.  Now cut the wire left sticking out and use your round nose pliers to bend it into another "eye" or closed loop.  Then add your first 2 decorative jump rings and the two larger jump rings, one on each side.

Now you add two more decorative jump rings and then attach your two 1 1/2" of chain, one on each side like this:

Last but not least you gather the chains together and place them into your last decorative jump ring and close it.  Now hang that jump ring on the earwire and gently squeeze it closed.  Then, repeat the whole thing again and voila' ~ here they are:

The possibilities are endless depending on what beads, chains and jump rings you choose to use.  Me, I take apart old necklaces for chain remnants and I also take apart actual chains for "custom-made" jump rings.  If I like it, it's going in!  So make your own version and send me the pics so I can share them.  Just click on My Profile in the right sidebar and then e-mail them to me :)  The same goes for any questions you may have.  Feel free to ask!

Hope you enjoyed my first attempt at a tutorial.  I'll keep 'em coming.  I think. lol.  Ciao for now.

"Faith is not a shelter against difficulties, but belief in the face of all contradictions."
~ Paul Tournier

Fanciful Charm Bracelet

March 25, 2010

OK, so where's Spring?  Not here, apparently.  Hopefully this bracelet will make you think of budding flowers and warmer days.  I think it's the pink that does it for me.

And of course, gray and black again ~ a combo I love together.  Plus the ubiquitous white pearl.  The 7 1/4" bracelet has about 35 beads and 9 charms.  There's a shamrock, a round locket, an antique brass heart locket, a fleur-de-lis, a regal crown with it's own bead dangle, a very cute envelope with a heart inside it and another one of my faves -- the angel :)

It's for sure another eclectic mix of whimsy and just-fancy-enough.  What do you think?

I've been thinking about taking the leap and designing earrings for a change....perhaps my next project will involve some type of catalog-inspired (I'm keeping it a secret) pair of dangle earrings.  

Tonight chickadee #3 is in a school play.  The camcorder is charged and ready to go!  Can't wait to see the little guy belt his lungs out (or so we're told).  Ciao till next time!

"The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear."
~ Socrates

Angela's Ashes Dangle Necklace

March 21, 2010

Well, I promised a necklace last night so here it is:

I wanted to call it a lariat necklace but it technically doesn't have the front closure that a true lariat necklace has.  Hence the name "Dangle."  I do love it, though.  The necklace is 28" long at the end of the longest dangle, a large black pearl with a clear bicone crystal bead attached.  There are also two wire-wrapped crystal beads and a filigree silver orb.  The colors are definitely "smoky," hence the name Angela's Ashes (and the fact that I love Frank McCourt's writing).  Anyway, here's another view:

I've worn a few hand made necklaces very similar to this one and have gotten many compliments ~ it's just different enough, you know?  I LoVe it!

Wanted to add it to my Etsy site tonight but I have a backlog of tivo'd House episodes to watch ~ guess Etsy will have to wait till tomorrow!  Ciao. 

" 'Tis."
~ Chapter XIX: Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt 

Charm Bracelet Diva's Battle with the Blog Button

March 20, 2010

OK, so I'm going to rant. I'm pretty tired ~ tired of trying to create a bleeping blog button that I like and that fits in my sidebar! I finally came up with one tonight as a test button. It doesn't look very impressive but believe me when I tell you that a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears went into it! It's at the top of my sidebar now, so look right!!! -> -> -> -> -> ->

I'll also try to post it here. Only problem is that I'm not sure what size it really is at this point. Let's try it out and see:

Gotta love Blogger ~ they upload your image at just the right size!  SO, I know it's WAY too big for a button here (see the letters getting fuzzy?)  But I just wanted you to get the idea......think it's "me" enough or should I keep working on other button designs?  I think I'll make some more and take a vote.  Heaven help me with THAT.
I wanted to post a new necklace tonight but the whole Button Fiasco has taken up way too much time.  Need to get to bed so we can be bright eyed and bushy-tailed for Sunday School and mass tomorow morning.  The girls are singing in the choir.  It's funny cause when they do, for a few brief moments, they're angels.  The rest of the time, well, don't ask! :0  Ciao.
"The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall."
~ Nelson Mandela

Key to My Heart Charm Necklace

March 19, 2010

Well, hellooooooooo Spring!  NOT!:(  Today was so gorgeous (mid-60's) that I even got the hubby to take some photos of my jewelry outside.  Alas, it's supposed to snow, yes SNOW, tomorrow and Sunday.  Hopefully only 1-2 inches but who needs it, you know?  I'm just sayin'

My latest charm necklace is the Key to My Heart charm necklace.  It's a 24" multi-tiered chain necklace, made of vintage gold-plated chain, antique brass chain, a pewter finish toggle and 3 charms.  The two antique brass charms are a heart and a key.  Last but not least is the bead charm I made out of 3 amber beads and a vintage black oblong bead.   The charms look like this:

I'm lovin' it!  Now it's time to put it in my Etsy shop.  My recent inventory has been somewhat depleted so I'm trying to madly fill it back up (to all of, like, 10 items).  Anyway, not enough time in the day.  Right now it's time to spend time with the kiddos before bed.  Ciao.

"This, above all: to thine own self be true.  And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man."
~ William Shakespeare 

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

March 16, 2010

An Irish Blessing

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
May the rain fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again may God
hold you in the palm of His hand.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

March 11, 2010

I think my hankering for Spring nudged me along to make this two-tiered silver charm necklace.  Birds chirping, people falling in love (or more in LoVe!) and lighter clothes that will show off this style of necklace beautifully ~ a sleeveless v-neck ruffle T, perhaps?

I used a heart LocKeT (yes, I'm very crazy about lockets these days), a swallow-like bird in flight, a bird cage and a pendant bearing the word Trust.  They're hanging from a 28-inch two-tiered silver chain.  Chains, actually ~ I used two different textured chains to make it interesting.  As per my fave, I used a silver toggle clasp.  

Anyone else itching for Spring?  The daffodils are almost bloomin' here in the midwest and we're REAL happy about that :)  Our girls are going to be in the Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade this weekend ~ Irish dancers and all that~ so we hope it doesn't rain ! Erin go bragh!

"To laugh often and much; to win respect of intelligent people and the affection of leave the world a better know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.  This is to have succeeded."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Fit for a Queen Necklace

March 8, 2010

I made this one pretty quickly once I figured out what I wanted to do with those great antique brass crown charms.  And when all was said and done I realized how much I have grown to love amber and citrine hues ~  there was a time I really didn't like them at all.  But now I think with white pearls it's a great color combination.

Some might say that it makes a smashing statement.  Almost regal, perhaps?  It's about 20 inches long with a toggle clasp.  I find that I favor toggles over all other clasps ~  anyone else?  It's just plain easier.  'Nuff said.

Today was field trips, homework and volleyball practice.  One chickadee was a bit sick and is STILL awake :(  

We're hoping for sleep soon on that front.  And today I was thinking that we're not there YET but spring definitely seems to be around the corner.  Halleluia.  I absolutely cannot wait for those daffodils.  I'm just sayin'........ time for tivo with the man.  Ciao until next time.

"Belief is truth held in the mind; faith is a fire in the heart."
~ Joseph Fort Newton

Going Steady Charm Bracelet

March 4, 2010

I call this charm bracelet "Going Steady" because of that fantastic antique brass charm.  It has a boy's and a girl's head stamped on it along with the words "Going Steady."  How vintage-ey is that?  I LoVe it!

The double link antique brass bracelet is adorned with tons of charms, just as spectacular.  I am SO into lockets these days, of ALL kinds.  Who says you can't put a locket on a charm bracelet? This one has the obvious round, silver locket.  But the antique brass orb charm is also a locket ~ quite unique I thought.  We also have pearls (of course), faceted pink glass beads, a key, a cross and tiny hammered coins.

I love to mix and match everything, even findings.  So I used a gold plated toggle, silver charms, and antique brass charms and jump rings.  Perhaps I'll put this one in my Etsy shop soon.

For now I'm happy to say goodnight to the computer.  Maybe tomorrow I can show you a few ideas I've been working on.....until then, ciao.

PS: THIS IS MY 100TH POST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)  WoW. 

"He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has."
~ Epictetus


Crazy Love Silk Ribbon Charm Necklace

March 2, 2010

I call this one "Crazy Love" since it's an eclectic mix, chock full of charms and beads. Not sure how I feel about it, though ~ perhaps I'm being too prissy?  I've used my precious pearls and antique brass charms ~ now THEY make me happy!

I used silk dupioni ribbon and an antique brass chain with a hook and ball clasp.  There are 11 charms and beads in all, as per the tutorial from I mentioned in my last post.  Too much or just right?  Let me know what you think!

I forgot to mention that Superhubby gave me Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 for my birthday!  Now I can actually create the blog button of my dreams!  Seriously, I've been dreaming about it.  Queer, I know.  But I AM excited to try it out. 

Although it seems like there's not enough time in the day........especially when your 6 year old son wakes you up at 6:20 a.m. and says, "Mommy, I dropped the whole roll of toilet paper in the toilet!"  To his credit, he actually grabbed it right quickly and averted an early morning disaster in our house.  Gotta thank someone for THAT:)


 "It takes courage to grow up and become who we really are."
~ e.e. cummings 
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