Sunday, August 22, 2010

Seashell ornaments 2010

So last year I had a great time using rhinestone trim to sparkle up some seashells .... And I loved the result. So this year I had to expand on the theme with white starfish.

Here are the original designs.... I used them for holiday tree/home decorations but ended up leaving some of them up all year round as beach house fun decor.....they're also very fun for hostess gifts and as a very special gift tag....

Or for beach celebrations : weddings, birthdays, anniversaries etc. Think they'd look awesome as a garland along a mantlepiece or as a celebratory banner decoration for a top table..... Without the hangers they'd look awesome put together as a still life table decoration.....door wreaths and candle wreaths coming soon .....

And this year I added the rhinestone and crystal decorated starfish.... The first batch are almost sold out so I need to make some more!
 Something very calming about having sealife in your decor..........
There's a couple left for sale on Etsy......     Dotted crystal design   and  the rhinestone trim design.....
And just to finish things off about a beachy sunset - Rio del Mar, CA, USA

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Trying other crafts week!

I've loved making photographs into cards or gift tags for a while now and along the way have enjoyed visiting scrapbook stores for the beautiful papers and cut out shapes and other beautiful 'accoutrements' that they sell to make these items unique and gorgeous.  I was gifted a set of shell stamps last December and had been wanting to use them.  So it was really fun when I asked my friend Carla from What a Card if she had a paper cutter in the shape of a luggage tag........and she said........."I have something soooooo much better........and.........I will lend it to you"!!!!  Whoooo hooooo - well how exciting is that???!!! Check out her gorgeous creations here :!/pages/San-Jose-CA/What-a-Card/234876417991?ref=ts&__a=22&ajaxpipe=1

So thats how the Cricut machine and I became acqainted.  Its an amazing machine that is capable of cutting all kinds of shapes (depending on my many cartridges of shapes you are willing to buy) - you can change the size of each shape and of course use different thicknesses of paper and card.
I even looked them up online and found a very similar machine that cut the shapes out of fondant icing for cake makers!!!  How amazing is that??!!

Anyhow - back to my paper fun week....  So here are some of the fun things I made with different cards and papers and of course using my shell stamps.  I now have enough gift tags for the next year full of birthdays, anniversaries, hostess gifts etc!  I also followed a tutorial posted by Kindra of Kindra's Creations who makes the most amazingly beautiful paper crafts -
and made these 'french' flowers from an old french book of mine, tea stained them and put them together as she suggested.  Lovely, I think.  Thanks Kindra x

So can anyone guess why I call these "Diana" flowers?  There's a clue in the writing on the flowers (which obviously comes from the book I used to make them.....)  Anyone????

Here are some more colorful Cricut flowers I made into tags....
And finally my precious shell tags......I'm pleased with these too....
I'd like to try these in some different colors of ink and maybe making greeting cards with them.  All very enjoyable crafts.  Gave the machines back but did cut out a few shapes in Holiday colors ......just in case I get the paper crafting urge again in a couple of months!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Getting fitter, eating heathily.....and staying there!

Been working on a couple of new items for my Cherryfit website and thought I would add them here - some useful tools for your fitness journies.

First up an article on strategy - getting motivated for change and staying there!

1) Getting started on your pathway to success

2) Using the concept of "Progression not Perfection" to keep moving forward on your journey

3) The 80/20 rule and how to use it to stay on track

4) The role of 'mindfulness' and the importance of' keeping it positive'!

Let me know what you think!

And secondly some downloadable motivation reminder cards - print and use them around and about to remind yourself of your goals of the day...........they'll help you make your new lifestyle changes become habits! Click here to download - or make your own!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Beach inspired jewelry and a day out in Carmel CA........

Talking about enjoying the beach and the ocean........the girls and I were lucky enough to spend a day in Carmel, CA earlier in the week.  This is such a cute town with a fabulous beach and an off leash dogs on the beach policy!!!!   We were able to have lunch at Doris Day's Cyprus Inn (also very doggy friendly) - we sat in their gorgeous flowered enclosed patio - and romp on the lovely white sandy beach (see pic below) is a pair of earrings I made which were inspired by these enjoyable outings.....
Silver shell beads topped and tailed with beautiful appatite rondelles in various ocean hues with a tiny blue topaz rondelle at the bottom.  As always sterling silver wire, headpins and earwires.  L:ightweight with a fun swing and deliberately different and original for each ear!!

I am sure many of us are inspired by the nature around us.........

My Etsy store has FREE US SHIPPING continued this US Memorial Day holiday weekend (ends midnight monday 31st may 2010) -  Enjoy the rest of this lovely weekend everyone!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Water pups.....

There's nothing my 'girls' like better than a trip to the beach and this weekend they got lucky and were able to have two long romps (with naps in between).

Chasing tennis balls is a fav - although Molly likes to put them in the ocean instead of bringing them back to you and then enjoys watching you go wading to retrieve them!  You can almost hear her giggle as she's doing it......

She used to be the fastest rocket on the beach but now her little sis, Mia has longer legs and can outrun her.  Mia's game is to block Molly from running after her ball, so now Molly has to zig zag side to side to get past her and then go full speed all out to beat her to the ball.....  So fun to watch.  No wonder they are both exhausted afterwards!!

Boogie used to like water games too - the beach and the pool!  Especially laying on the pool float and then sploshing off!!

The girls do pretty well there too.....diving in and swimming out, running round the pool 20 times and .....repeat!!
Course you can always just pose on the side when you get tired.......... or
 see who can get to the ball first!!!  What do your animals do that makes you smile?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ancient tree of life......

So this weekend I received this lovely gift - Its an
"Ancient Tree of Life" 
sculpture from my good friend Joey Cattone......  She had found the beautiful azurite rock in Arizona and knew that those gorgeous sparkly aqua/turquoise colors would go soooo well with my decor!!!  So she brought it home with her and made me this delightful tree out of wire and beads to decorate my mantle.  I've seen tree of life themes on jewelry before so I decided to look into the tradition and meaning a bit more........

Apparently, the Tree of Life is a universal symbol that can be found in the spiritual tradition of most cultures around the world. If you think about it..... trees provide shelter, they are tall and strong and have deep roots connecting them to the earth but they also reach skyward towards the 'heavens'.    They lose their leaves and grow new ones...bear fruit...enriching the air we breathe. All symbols of life, growth and renewal....... 

I think its beautiful to look at and I love that it was handmade with love..........  Joey's other work can be seen on her website :  (and include murals, watercolors, oils on canvas, prints, sculptures and many others)  Check her out!!!!  And thanks Joey!

And for those of you who would like to incorporate a tree of life pattern into some jewelry - here's a free one to download from Janice Parsons of the beadshop -   Aren't these gorgeous?  I'll have to make one for me!!!

And here's her website - full of beads, findings,components, projects and free downloads -  Thanks Janice x

And here are some gorgeous tree of life jewelry pieces from Dolcie Crawford - just look at the detail and beautiful colors on this one......The bead is a natural Paua shell.   Very special indeed:)
Her other work can be seen at her store :
Her facebook page :
Her blog :   Thanks Dolcie :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

The anatomy of a custom order!

I do love a custom request! Now I am a little bit of a detail freak, so I have a need to ask quite a few questions along the way........but in the end, its a real pleasure making something for a customer and making it exactly as they want it. 

Yes, I throw in my design eye - the color choices, the shapes, sizes, overall look etc....but isn't it a wonderful thing to be able to say "I want an amber necklace just like the multi gem one I bought from you, with silver and quartz" and get......exactly what you want?

The first challenge was to find and pick some beads and pieces to bring together.  Its always fun laying the gems out next to each other to try and see what will work and how it will all look......
Before I knew it I was home and laying out my treasures with some pieces I already had, on my design board to see how it all might come together..... Then once I had made the base silver outline with wire, I started adding beads and gently bending it into shape....
Next stage was to pull together the final pendant outline shape and make loops on each end - one for the necklace cording and the other one in so that it can also be worn as a bracelet if you choose.

BTW - Amber is a beautiful stone made of fossil tree sap and has been known since antiquity. A fossil itself, it can contain many preserved insects and other animals and plants that are tens of millions of years old. These frequent fossil inclusions were made famous in the movie "Jurassic Park".The fossils that are encased in amber probably got there when they flew or crawled on to the fresh seeping sap and then got stuck. The sap oozed over the trapped animals and perhaps fell to the ground and was later covered by dirt and debris. The sap later hardened and became a fossil.

Here's the inspiration piece - it can also be wrapped around your wrist and used as a bracelet...I've also seen similar pieces worn off centre with the cord doubled around as a long 'choker'.......I've even thought it would make a very fancy hair slide with a dowel through each end!!!

And here's a close up of each end of the finished pendant waiting for its necklace cord!
I think she picked a really nice combo of colors don't you?  So whats your creative process with your custom orders?  I was lucky here in that the design was similar to a previous one so I knew kinda what she wanted.......but sometimes thats the fun and a new shape or design comes together because of it!  In the end the customer chose to add another larger chunk of clear quartz - which I actually think looks great :) ....... and here's the finished piece.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The King and I.........

Or "Getting to Know You"!!!  Shows my age I know but still one of my favorite musicals!!!  So here are some of my link love and other friends who responded to my recent blog post about where our creativity came from and how it was nurtured.  Thought you'd like to meet the artists behind the stores and see some of their current gorgeous creations.......

First up - Pat Elliott who is also a dog lover like me, supports rescue........and what better subject matter?  I love the intensity of the look on their faces here as they enjoy their romp on the furry girls love nothing better!!  Here's Pat's painting "Bam"
Check out Pats pup and other artwork here
Here's what she said in response to my creativity blog posting - "I'm in England and did all the same when I went to school :)   I loved painting the most and on parent teacher evenings I was always doing artwork for the parents to watch as they made their tour of the school :)
My uncle was a great painter - he used to paint backdrops for the movies back in the 50s and 60s"
Check out her blog too here -  Thanks Pat x

Next up - Michele of By Your Side who says "I don't remember a lot of "crafty" classes here in the states, even back in the day, I know they don't have them now. My "crafty" skills came from my grandmother's both knit, crochet, sewed and many other things!! I wish I had been more interested while I had them here, but they inspire me now!"  Michele creates beautiful  handmade purses, handbags, totes, bags and accessories....Love the colors and the shape on this Itty Bitty Brittney Travel Bag....

 Check out her other lovely creations at :, her facebook fan page at :   And her blog at :
Thanks Michele :)

Pam Southernwood (Avrilpam) 
creates jewelry bags and scarves! Check out these beauties.
She says "She says " My mum made all my clothes when I was young and taught me to sew on her old Singer treadle machine, then I made my own mini skirts and dresses! (yes in the '60s)I still love sewing though I don't make clothes these days"   Love the combination of colors on those delicious earrings!  Here's her blog : 
Thanks Pam!

MCatherine Lunsford enjoyed the trip down memory lane and offered us an opportunity to win one of her Hide a Hearts - "Thank you for sharing your memories...this is a lovely post. Made me smile. Hope you stop by and make a could win a Hide a Heart if your post is chosen. Have a great day!"   Here's a pic of her Love You Hide a Heart - a very original way of expressing yourself!  Thanks MCatherine

Joey Cattone says "Coming from a family with not much money - we recycled everything into a new use . My Dad was very clever & creative that way - My Mom did it on the cooking side . I can remember making antlers out of coat hangers for make believe at Halloween. I had a best friend from grade school who had incredible artistic abilities and went on to be come a technical illustrator - we spent hours drawing together - she was my greatest inspiration.  View Joey's artwork or request a custom piece of your own at :

Here's her latest - "Awaiting the Pruners hand"

Tanya LaVallee - has a great motto - she says "My mother and Grand-mother. My mother taught ceramics and my grand-mother owned a craft store and loves doing flower arrangements. Both of them did various other crafts. Many of which I can do and some I taught myself that they can't do. My motto is "I'd rather be crafting"!!  Its a good one Tanya!  Here's her facebook page :   And her website:
And her blog :   
Her website enables you to buy and sell handmade crafts on consignment - so there's no listing fee!
She has a lot of different and beautiful crafts there right now - but this colorful wreath particularly caught my eye....Thanks Tanya :)

Kelley A Masson tells where she got her creativity from "A long line of seamstresses. My Nana taught me to knit and crochet. She made doll wardrobes and dresses for me. My mom made lots of lots of clothes. She just gave me a Holly Hobbie doll she made from a vintage 1970s pattern for my birthday. I started sewing when my oldest was a baby about 17 years ago."  In her store SewEndless, Kelly now creates handmade bags for women and children.  And look how fun they are!!!   Here's her shop
and a current one of her creations - her Retro Rainbow Ruffle Handbag.  That one will definitely brighten your day :)  Thanks Kelly :)

Angie Baker knows that she was quite simply, born with her talent!  Here's her website where she offers her custom, unique jewelry..... including some lovely lanyards.... so practical yet so beautiful.

Thanks everyone!  Keep creating :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

So where did all your creativity come from?

Ever stopped to take a minute to think why you are so crafty

I went to school in England and we were lucky enough to have some creative classes at school - everything from painting (art) to needlework and beyond.  I even have some early memories or papier mache balloons that turned into 'fabulous' face masks and dolls......and then of course at home, my Mum and all her sisters were great knitters and crocheters - someone always had a new pattern at hand and a bag of wool in their bag.  As a result I ended up with quite a few interesting outfits......not all of which were met with surprise and delight!  Of course now I would love the custom hand made element of it all but at the time.......I just wanted something bought from a store like everyone else!!!
This one was for a pearly king and queen party - I thought I looked like the 'bees knees' at the time (and just look at those knees and the shoes and socks!!!).   Those mother of pearl sequins took a long time to stick on and the fancy colored ribbons along the skirt were all sewn on by hand....and......I had fancy petticoats under there keeping that skirt puffy!  Fairy princesses have those don't they?   if there was a prize for the best outfit - I don't remember winning it :)  But I do remember I had fun wearing this one.

This one (I'm the one on the left and the other pretty miss was my best friend, Sally!) was a bright red velvet ensemble with stuck on gold braid and hand made bow in my hair sewn onto a comb.  As you can see from my expression - I'm not sure I    'l o v e d'    this one......but the' crafty' seeds were definitely being sewn!!  These are good for a laugh right??!!!!
 Here's one of my 'favs' - I wish I'd never thrown it out.  Crocheted squares put together as a gilet - but I do remember having a similar shift dress as well.  Colorful, warm and fun.  And a great way to use up bits and pieces of left over wool!!! Oh and it had that new fangled 'velcro' stuff as a fastener.  Fascinating !  Do you have a favorite crafty outfit from your childhood?

Here's one I made myself for a concert I was playing at - I was sooo proud of having made those frilly sleeves - took me forever!!
And of course on my Dad's side - he was a fabulous photographer and always had his Leica with him whenever we went anywhere, so I definitely have an enjoyment of photography from him.  Plus he was always hammering something or re-purposing something and so I learned that things can be re-made or re-used in a different way......The most memorable was a fantastic old mahogany dresser that was no longer needed inside the house, so it got moved to the garage where it became home to many tools, hammers, nails, saws, you name it!   Everything had its place in this lovely piece of furniture.  The poshest tool box ever :-) Here they are looking very dapper in a christmas shot - I love that my Mum has her jewelry on to complete her outfit and my Dad has a pinky lavender shirt and snazzy tie!!  How cute is that??!!! A man not afraid of color :)