Thursday, August 28, 2008


Many of you may have already read my post (Say a Little Prayer 8/2) about my husband's niece who has cancer. She is a beautiful 10 year old girl and she was recently diagnosed with a Wilms tumor. She has been operated on at this point and is now going through chemo. Her family is working on a fundraiser to help Cassidee and her mom and so a webpage has been set up where I guess eventually people will be able to make donations. Her mother is a single parent with very limited resources so she certainly needs the help. I just went to Cassidee's webpage and she has started a blog! I think that is an awesome idea! Cassidee can write about what is going on with her and not only can her friends and family keep up with her that way, but maybe too, she will reach other children with similar difficulties. So I am going to add the link here so that if you know of anyone who might want to check out Cassidee's blog, please feel free to tell them about it.

I have decided to hold off on my idea of donations to the local animal shelter and will be donating 50% of all purchases made at my jewelry shop to Cassidee's foundation. I thought about donating the entire purchase price, but honestly I need some of the funds to be able to continue to purchase new beads and supplies in order to keep making jewelry. If I don't keep making new things there will be nothing for anyone to purchase to help her out. So, for now 50% and if I find I can do more, I will.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Dogs and Jewelry and Such

Samson and Benson both came from the pound!

I am considering doing something new with my little jewelry shop. I love making jewelry and seeing people get it and then be so happy with it. It really thrills me! The other great passion in my life is my dogs, and helping dogs and animals in general. I know there are some etsy teams that support animals, but I am not much of a team joiner, so I am thinking I may just decide to take 10% of any purchase and donate it to the local animal shelter. I almost had to drop two dogs off there last week, when I found them running down a major highway in our area. One of these guys was a big ol' dog, probably 85 lbs or so and the other was a little tiny Pomeranian! And there they were, quite a pair, running down the highway where cars are doing 55-60! It scared me. Unfortunately, I found at later, the door at their house had been malfunctioning and they got out of the house without their tags on. I was fortunate that after a couple of hours with the two little sweeties, trying to find their mommy and daddy I went on over to the shelter (almost in tears) and when I got there the 2 young girls working there said that their dad had just been in and just left! So he came right back and took his babies home! I was so glad they didn't have to spend a night in the shelter. But, the shelter was there for me if I had needed it. I couldn't have brought them here because I have 6 of my own. And really the best place for them to be if they were going to be found was at the shelter. That's at least one place you can check and hope and pray that somehow they have wound up there if you have a dog go missing. So, I know they need help and even if it's not a lot of money, if I just send them some money quarterly that will make it a little bigger chunk that they can buy some dog food or kitty litter or whatever it is that they need with. What do you think? Is this just a no brainer- if I can do it I should- or, will some people see it as a ploy if I put it in my shop announcement that I am going to donate 10% of each purchase? I don't know, big corporations help out the community all the time. It is expected of them. I kind of think it should be expected of me too!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Beautiful Pictures

If you love beautiful photography and pictures of Italy, particularly Venice and Florence then I might know of an Etsy store for you! I "met" this nice woman on an Etsy forum and took a look around her store and just fell in love with her notecards and photographs. It makes me want to do more writing so that I can send these lovely cards to someone! The pictures are rich and vibrant and give me the feeling of being right there- in Italy. She has pictures of other places and things too, some of which may appeal to others more, but the Italy ones just really grabbed me. Take a look and see what you think. I'd love to read your comments after you've looked around her shop! Thanks!

Monday, August 18, 2008


Meditation has been a part of my life since I was 15. My sister, who was 13 years older than I, learned transcendental meditation or TM at that time (the 70s) and she sent me for lessons from one of their teachers. Since then I have used it off and on and also practiced other types of meditation.

Meditation is very practical. It is a spiritual practice for sure, but it has many health benefits as well. Even the health care community has documented these benefits now and is willing for the most part to embrace meditation as a healthy practice. It's great for people with high blood pressure, anger issues, depression and the list goes on and on. I'm not even sure we are aware of all the benefits we get from meditation. I am quite sure it benefits those of us with a creative flair. It allows my mind to be more free and open to the creative process and opens me up to the great Creator! And one of the big keys to meditation and one of the hardest aspects for me is consistency. I need to meditate everyday no matter what!! Why is that so hard? I make time for other things that I want to do, so there is no reason why I can't make time for meditation as well.

One of the most interesting teachers of meditation in this country was a man by the name of Eknath Easwaran. I have read several of his books and practiced his form of meditation quite a bit. I get his daily readings emailed to me. Even though he has passed away, the Blue Mountain Center for Meditation is still up and running and working to spread the word about his work and his methods of meditation and dealing with life. He was quite a fascinating man and his form of meditation is strictly spiritual and should not interfere with anyone's religious beliefs. So have a look at their site if you would like. You have nothing to lose and maybe a whole new world will be opened up to you!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

One Happy Customer

I had my very first ecrater sale last week!! I have my jewelry there as well as on etsy and while I am not as fond of ecrater for selling I did sell two of my bookmarks there! The woman who bought them asked me if I could combine shipping for her because unlike on etsy, there is no way to charge less for shipping on the 2nd item automatically. Just one of the many little things that ecrater does not offer that etsy does. Well, I tried to take care of it for her and apparently in doing so, I wiped out the transaction on my ecrater site and so it looks like I still haven't sold anything. I also negated her option to leave feedback because the only way she could leave feedback was to pay the first notice she got from ecrater. That notice had the incorrect amount on it. At least that is where it stands right now. If she gets another opportunity for feedback she has told me she will certainly take it, but I thought I would share with those who care to read my blog, what she wrote to me after she received her purchase: (she gave me permission to do so)

Jennifer, I received my bookmarks today, I can't tell you how beautiful they are in "person"....they are very pretty on your website, but the picture doesn't do them justice!! Thank you so very much for including one for me.....I don't buy things for myself very often, and when I do it's generally out of getting one of these beautiful markers was such a surprise, and such a heartfelt gift. It brought tears to my eyes...they are beautiful. My daughter in laws are going to love these at Christmas time! Mine is already marking Corrinthians.....I was looking for a verse to put on my "future" daughter in laws hanky I am making her to carry when her and my son marry in 2 weeks.....!! Thank you again... Melana

It really made my day to receive such a lovely email. As I said in the post I did re: "Why I Make Jewelry" (and bookmarks) I love to know that people are actually happy when they receive that package or put on that piece of jewelry. It is such a kick for me! And this it seems is one happy customer! Yippee!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thought for today

This seemed like an appropriate quote for today since we are in the middle of an Olympics. I am sure Michael Phelps and all the other amazing Olympians would agree with the Buddha on this.

"Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes." – The Buddha

Do you have endurance? Do you stick it out when things get difficult or do you quit, give up or run away? Think about your relationships, your spiritual growth, your education, your art- are you willing to "endure" and persist even when the going gets tough?

Something to ponder.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Jewelry Fashion Trends 2008

Jewelry Fashion at the Teen Choice Awards
Well, normally this wouldn't be something I would even check into, but since it came into my inbox I decided to give it a look. I didn't see a whole lot that inspired me. A lot of gold chains with delicate pendants, nothing to inspire my beading brain! But, this one, I loved and wouldn't it have been great to make it for her!! Check it out!

Kristen Bell at the 2008 Teen Choice Awards - August 3, 2008 in Los Angeles, California
Kristen Bell's long necklace appears to be made from turquoise, onyx and pearls, all set in yellow gold.

There were a couple of others that caught my eye too! Scarlett Johansson just because she can never look bad and of course here she is ever so bold!

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Scarlett Johansson at the 2008 Teen Choice Awards - August 3, 2008 in Los Angeles, California
Big flashy beads on a huge chain -- Scarlett Johansson pulls off a look I probably wouldn't like on most people.

And finally this really awesome ring! I don't make rings personally, but I have seen lots of pretty ones on Etsy and so this one made me take a second look!

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Driver Danica Patrick at the 2008 Teen Choice Awards - August 3, 2008 in Los Angeles, California
Danica Patrick's large floral ring with a pearl center spread out to cover a good portion of her fingers. Her purple (snakeskin?) clutch is embellished with colored gemstones.Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Driver Danica Patrick at the 2008 Teen Choice Awards - August 3, 2008 in Los Angeles, California
Danica Patrick's large floral ring with a pearl center spread out to cover a good portion of her fingers. Her purple (snakeskin?) clutch is embellished with colored gemstones

If you would like a link to the whole article with all the pictures, here you go!


Friday, August 8, 2008

Fashion Color Forecast For Fall 2008

Pantone is the leading forecaster for what's hot in color in the fashion world. And this article tells us what will be happening for fall with regards to color. Designing jewelry now for fall I need to start thinking about what everyone will be wearing and match my jewelry colors accordingly. Sounds like it is going to be a beautiful fall!! You can find this article at

A Season of Change
Best described as a season of change, fall ’08 is defined by rich, elegant hues that offer a vibrant selection. New York's fashion designers emphasize cooler blues, greens and purples in the top five tones used in their collections, followed by variations of warm red, orange and yellow.
"Fall is traditionally a time for subdued, quiet colors, but this season we are seeing a shift toward cool hues with bright, exciting undertones," said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. "Conventional tones such as warm autumn hues, chocolate browns and steel grays are also among the fall color choices. Blue and purple tones have become staples, as illustrated by Blue Iris, one of the top 10 colors chosen by designers this season, and Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2008."
Preview colors for Fall 2008.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Say a Little Prayer

We had some very sad news the other day. My brother in law's wife's sister's daughter (there must be a better way to say that- I am very bad with family connections) has been diagnosed with cancer. She is only 10 years old and a beautiful child. To give you an example of her beautiful spirit she was at the time of her diagnosis, growing out her hair for "locks of love." It appears to be a "Wilms" tumor and they have removed it. Now they have to put her through chemo. I just can't believe little children have to go through chemotherapy. It just seems horribly unfair. And, if the diagnosis is correct, this is a cancer that only affects children. Talk about unfair! But, the reality is that she is not alone. There are many more children just like her and younger than her and with far worse conditions, in far worse conditions. And so I pray for acceptance for all those who love her and for Cassidy herself. I pray that God will give comfort to us all and courage and strength to those who need it.

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