Sunday, May 31, 2009

Soulful Sunday: I'm In Another Fabulous Treasury!

I was pleasantly surprised to get a spot in another beautiful treasury by Annette from DragonHouseofYuen yesterday - especially as her treasury is called Female the Holders of Power, which is perfect for my Boudicca's Coins Necklace (front and center!). Please click on the photo above to go to the treasury. When you're there, be sure to click on your favorites and leave a comment on the treasury page. These are truly wonderful artists, I am so amazed to be in such great company!
Have a great Sunday,

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sweet Saturday: NeoAmour Marie Antoinette Jewelry Set Part2

**Update - this bracelet and its matching necklace are now up for sale on my Etsy Site!**
This is Part 2 from my post yesterday about the matching necklace to this piece.
This is part of my new NeoAmour Collection - Based on Powerful Women of the Past, Redesigned for Women Today.
Inspired by the femininity of Marie Antoinette, I decided to make a matching bracelet to yesterday's necklace. It had to be beautiful, feminine, and able to hold it's own with the necklace without being overpowering. I made this bracelet with Swarovski Crystal pearls in 'rosaline' (pink) and clear, silver-lined Czech glass seed beads. I again sewed a dainty Daisy Chain stitch and made the bracelet a little over 13 inches long.I then sewed pink ribbon on the ends to make a clasp, hiding the front stitches with seed beads, and sealing all ribbon ends with clear fabric glue to prevent unraveling:
The best part about the ribbon and the over all length of the bracelet is that you can tie the ribbon tighter or looser to make it longer or shorter (again, I would recommend doing a 'double bow' when tying it to make sure it doesn't come off - just tie a bow as usual, and then knot the bow again to make it extra secure.). In fact, the length of the bracelet is from 13 inches to just over 18 inches, so you could even use this as a choker necklace!
I do still prefer wearing it doubled around my wrist - it feels so silky soft against the skin.

This bracelet will be up for sale today in my Etsy store, under the NeoAmour Marie Antoinette Section. If you wanted to purchase this bracelet and the matching necklace at the same time, you will get a 10% discount!
Merci beaucoup!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Fabulous Friday Part 2 - Another Cool Treasury!


I'm in another treasury! This one features my blue cluster ring, top left. Please click the photo above to go to the treasury. Make sure to leave a comment and click on your favorite item - thank you!!

Fabulous Friday: NeoAmour Marie Antoinette Jewelry Set

This is part of my new NeoAmour Collection - Based on Powerful Women of the Past, Redesigned for Women Today.
Inspired by the femininity of Marie Antoinette, I decided to make a beautiful necklace with Swarovski Crystal pearls in 'rosaline' (pink) and clear, silver-lined Czech glass seed beads. I started off with a dainty Daisy Chain stitch and made the necklace base a little over 15 inches long. I then came back and made small loops with more seed beads and Swarovski pearls to add dimension and swing:This captures the light, and emphasizes the neckline (and looks heavenly with strapless anything).During Marie Antoinette's time, there weren't many clasps to be found, and ribbon was often used as a closure for necklaces and bracelets (it looks more feminine anyway!). I sewed pink ribbon onto the ends of the necklace, sealed all the ribbon ends with clear fabric glue to keep it from unraveling, and used more of the seed beads to hide the stitches on the front side:Despite the weight of the necklace, the ribbon closure was perfect for this necklace as it also adds a bit of variability to the necklace - you can adjust it longer or shorter by tying the ribbon closer or further from the base of the necklace. I would recommend doing a 'double bow' when tying it to make sure it doesn't come off - just tie a bow as usual, and then knot the bow again to make it extra secure.
There is a matching bracelet, but this post is getting very long, so you'll have to wait on pins and needles for it to debut here tomorrow!
This necklace will be for sale starting today on my Etsy store, under the NeoAmour Marie Antoinette section in my shop.
Also, my TREASURY to help Epic Farms is expiring soon - please go look and click on the items and comment in the comment section to help this wonderful horse rescue.
A demain, mes cheries,

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesday's Treasures - A Present from Scotland!!

~A Package from Scotland, Oh My!~

A few weeks ago I did a small feature on Annette from DragonHouseofYuen on Etsy, and said that I was waiting for some bunnies of my own, made by her. They actually arrived not long after that post (amazing how fast the mail is worldwide now!), but I've been unable to show you all of the goodies until now! Here was the package once I opened the beautiful wrapping:
She sent a Thank-You card for my purchase (so very polite!). You can see my two bunnies, Fallow (Left) and Sally (right). The craftsmanship is incredible, and the fabrics are very thick and sturdy. What a great change from cheap, mass-produced store-bought things! These soft sculptures will last for decades, and look great too! They are also usually made from reclaimed (often vintage) fabrics - a great way to cut down on waste and look good doing it :)
But what's this? There are a few other things, also!
First was a very pretty bunny bookmark:
Then I saw the little story cards about each bunny:They tell each bunny's story and what their personalities are like. Sally (the pink) likes to spend her days with flowers and tall grasses, while Fallow likes to play with deer.
Then I got to the beautiful handmade bunny cards. One is for Valentine's Day and the other is for Birthdays:
The paper is so thick and creamy to the touch, and the bunnies are so darling, I don't know if I want to give them away or frame them! They each come with matching envelopes and large-sized gift tags also - what incredible value for money! These are a gift in themselves, and I am so happy to have them!
Here are Sally and Fallow playing hide and seek on my living room ledge. Fallow has now gone to live with my mom, who couldn't be happier with the arrangement. Now all Fallow has to do is avoid my mom's cat on the way out to the back yard :)I hope you liked these great things from DragonHouseofYuen. There are so many more great art items in Annette's store, I really do recommend you check them out!

Monday, May 25, 2009

NeoAmour - Boudicca's Heart Necklace


I created this necklace after being inspired by a movie. What the movie was I can't for the life of me remember, but this necklace was the wonderful product. I am always inspired by the Celts, and Boudicca the Celtic Warrior Queen is one of those people that, despite the totally oral nature of her culture (she had to be recorded by the Romans, certainly no mean feat), has been remembered for the last 1700 years due to her sheer will and determination, and yes, great love of her people.
Made a Regent Queen after her husband died, she was thrust into power in a time when (though the Celts allowed women rulers) women were NOT to be in power according to the Romans, the largest threat to the Celts at that time. They actually believed that the fact that Celts allowed women to rule made the Celtic people more barbarous than ever! The Romans came, publicly beat Boudicca, raped her daughters in front of her, took her husband's belongings, tried to take her tribe's lands, and attempted to force the Celts to become slaves for the Romans.
Boudicca had other ideas.
Outraged at these atrocities, she fought back, winning a few major (and very bloody) victories before the Romans finally conquered her tribe, and left her to fade into obscurity. No one knows what happened to her, but I can imagine that after all of this heartache, she would have welcomed a life in the background.
I thought of her courage and decided to make a necklace made of hand formed hearts. I took copper wire and cut it into 21- 4 inch sections, then hand formed each section into a Celtic styled heart. I then hammered them flat to give them a slight luster finish and durability. To connect them I used silver rings and made a custom hook and eye clasp from sterling silver wire to connect it. For a final finish I attached Czech glass beads in a black dagger shape to dangle from a few of the hearts - as a tribute to her final 'heartache' at not being able to save her culture from the invading Romans.
This piece is currently for sale on my Etsy store, under the NeoAmour Boudicca Celtic section. I am able to lengthen or shorten the necklace if you desire, and I can also remove the dangles if you would prefer. I can even make it out of sterling silver wire, or 14karat gold filled wire, all you have to do is ask :)
Thanks for joining my time-travel adventures today!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Soulful Sunday - Looking Back to Look Forward


It never ceases to amaze that our society constantly looks back for inspiration. Now, that is not to say that it is a bad thing - after all, "You can't know where you are going, if you don't know where you've been," and all that. Still, when researching antique and ancient jewelry for inspiration for my new collection, I realized just how true this is: we are always looking back, even in our fashion choices. This, I have realized, also makes my job a little bit easier....Cool!

My new collection is called NeoAmour, or, NewLove. It is based on jewelry of the past, that I have redesigned for today's woman. This is not just any jewelry: this jewelry is based on what powerful women of the past would have worn. Jewelry that symbolized power, wealth, status. Jewelry worn by Queens, Empresses, First Ladies (you know I'm talking about Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis!), and others, to show that they were not to be trifled with. They were women, yes, but much more than 'just' women. These were the women who ruled front and center, or from behind the scenes, using all their intelligence and foresight to help their husbands and countries to overcome various struggles.
That is what we do today, is it not? We run our offices, businesses, homes, and sports teams. We run charity events, host dinner parties, travel all over the world to help others in need. We raise the next generation while working full time and looking fabulous. We are Women (hear us roar!)! We deserve to have beautiful jewelry that is made with strict attention to detail, with quality materials, that is limited in number - often one-of-a-kind - just like us!
Now you will have it.
Based on powerful women like Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis, Queen Elizabeth 1, Marie Antoinette, Boudicca the Celtic Warrior Queen, and many more.
Designed for you.
NeoAmour - You Deserve It!

I will be adding pieces to these new collections in my Etsy store as I finish each one. There are currently two sections with items from my new collection, based on Boudicca the Celtic Warrior Queen and on Marie Antoinette. Please visit often and tell me what you think!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday's Treasures - My mom is Here!

~Red Trillium in My Forest~

I'm sorry for the absence the last few days - my mom is staying over with me while Brennan is away and we have been busy visiting! Last night we played Monopoly for 4 hours and it only ended in a draw when we were too tired to continue. I will hopefully get us out in the garden today as it will be sunny and breezy - warm enough to work outside without the bugs that are plaguing my every move! I'll try to be more conscientious in my posts, however, and let you know what we are doing :)
Off to work out, and maybe get some jewelry done,

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sweet Saturday - Some Flowers for You From My Gardens!

Come with me and take a tour of my gardens! First is a purple tulip: They get about 2-1/2 feet tall and the flowers are about 3 inches high. They don't really open, but stay fairly closed like this throughout their blooming period.
Next is my Poet's Daffodil:
They are an heirloom bulb that dates from about the 1500's! I love these, and I always look forward to having a piece of history come up in my garden each spring.
They get about 1 foot tall and the flowers are about 1-1/2 to 2 inches in diameter.

Thanks for visiting with me, I hope you have a great Saturday! I am still working on pieces for my new jewelry collection, so please keep checking back :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fabulous Friday: A Bracelet Full of Sunshine!

The Celts believed that spirals represented the sun - the more open the coil, the brighter the sun. This is one bright bracelet! Click HERE to see the bracelet (with more photos) in my Etsy store. It is made from 14karat gold filled wire, sterling silver wire and amber. It is all hand formed into spirals and links.

$10 from the purchase of this piece will be donated directly to the Arthritis Society of Canada, which helps people with fibromyalgia as well as with arthritis http://www.arthritis.ca to donate directly - thank you!

Click HERE to see more items in my Etsy Shop, 10% of the sales always goes to charity.

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday: Stop Animal Cruelty!

Over at Daisy the Curly Cat's blog (I love that blog, please do check it out), I read about a contest being held by a great cause. I'mTiredOnline is an organization trying to stop animal cruelty - and they're having a contest to see which dogs and cats have the best smile! The photo of Arwen above is my entry - I don't know if they accept Canadian entries or not, but I'm trying anyway, she is just too cute, and the cause is too good :)
Go HERE to see the entries and enter yourself!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday's Treasures: Today is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day!

~My Faithful Fibro Companion, Arwen~

May 12 is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, thank you for visiting! My Etsy store is donating 5% of the total sales before taxes and shipping to Fibromyalgia Awareness charities this month in honor of this day. Please visit to see some great items, and feel good for helping a great cause at the same time!
Here is some very important information about fibromyalgia:
Government Data confirms that Canadians with Fibromyalgia are very disadvantaged

The following information was extracted by the National ME/FM Action Network from the Statistics Canada datafile for the 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey.
An estimated 390,000 Canadians have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Over half were between the ages of 45 and 64. Roughly a quarter were younger than 45 and 20% were 65 years old or older. Over 80% were female.

Canadians with Fibromyalgia showed a high degree of activity limitation:
*Need help with preparing meals:
Canadians with Fibromyalgia: 16%, Canadians in General: 3%
*Need help with getting to appointments and running errands:
Canadians with Fibromyalgia: 28%, Canadians in General: 5%
*Need help – doing housework:
Canadians with Fibromyalgia: 35%, Canadians in General: 5%
*Need help with heavy household chores (such as spring cleaning or yard work):
Canadians with Fibromyalgia: 57%, Canadians in General: 12%
*Need help with personal care:
Canadians with Fibromyalgia: 7%, Canadians in General: 2%
*Need help moving about inside the house:
Canadians with Fibromyalgia: 8%, Canadians in General: 1%

Canadians with Fibromyalgia also experienced socio-economic disadvantage:
*Permanently unable to work (ages 15-74):
Canadians with Fibromyalgia: 14%, Canadians in General: 2%
*Annual personal income less than $15,000 (ages 15+):
Canadians with Fibromyalgia: 43%, Canadians in General: 29%
*Food insecure:
Canadians with Fibromyalgia: 11%, Canadians in General: 5%
*Very weak sense of belonging to local community
Canadians with Fibromyalgia: 13%, Canadians in General: 10%

There are gaps in service to Canadians with Fibromyalgia:
*Unmet health care needs over the previous 12 months:
Canadians with Fibromyalgia: 26%, Canadians in General: 11%
*Unmet home care needs over the previous 12 months (ages 18+):
Canadians with Fibromyalgia: 11%, Canadians in General: 2%

The National ME/FM Action Network has being telling government health officials for years that:
• Fibromyalgia is a very disabling illness,
• the illness has substantial impact on people's lives
• there are significant gaps in health care delivery.
Now Canadian government data confirms what we have been saying.
Please share this important information with others. Help to make this information as widely known as possible.
About the Canadian Community Health Survey:
The Canadian Community Health Survey is a major survey designed by Canadian health authorities to identify and monitor health issues affecting Canadians aged 12 and up. There were 27,100,000 Canadians in scope for the survey. Over 130,000 Canadians were interviewed.
About the National ME/FM Action Network:
The National ME/FM Action Network is a registered charity working on behalf of Canadians with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. Please visit www.mefmaction.net.

****These tables were compiled by Ms Margaret Parlor, President, National ME/FM Action Network. Ms Parlor recently retired from a 30 year public service career where she worked as a statistician, policy analyst and manager.
Excerpted from an email from:
Lydia E. Neilson, M.S.M., National ME/FM Action Network
Tel. (613) 829-6667

Thanks for reading! I hope you learned a little bit of our struggles, and many of our triumphs! We are getting recognition for our disease - more and more reputable medical clinics are now doing trials and testing and soon we may have a cure or totally effective treatment for our disease :)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday's Mother's Day Update - Fun for All!

Well, mother's day was a blast! I went to my mom's in the afternoon and gave her the present: the special edition of Mary Poppins - I had purchased it when it had first become available for pre-order in January, as I knew it was the first movie my mom had ever seen in the theaters as a kid. It was definitely a hit!
After that we went to see a quilt show that my mom's quilter's guild was holding (it's only every 2 years so we were lucky to go). My mom had several quilts on display there, including the one she made for me, above. She didn't win any awards (I'd like to have a chat with the judges, lol), but we had a great time seeing all of the different quilts - there were over 200!! - and also the different vendors. I'm not a quilter, but as an artist, I can definitely appreciate the love and hard work that goes into this art form :)
While browsing one of the vendors I found a really cool book on quilting landscapes - too amazing - and my mom said she had never seen it before and had always wanted to try quilting landscapes....so I bought it for her 'early birthday present'...keeping in mind that her birthday is in September, LOL. It is a phenomenal book, however, and I can't wait to see what she comes up with! We kept walking around, admiring the quilts and vendors (a few vendors were selling these amazing computerized quilting machines that took much of the back-breaking labor out of quilting, but were....wait for it....$16,000 dollars!! eep!). One of the vendors had 'easy quilt kits' that had all the material and the instructions for about the same price as the book I got my mom. The fabrics in it were sooooo pretty and I kept picking it up and putting it down...picking it up and putting it down. I really liked it, but I'd just bought the book and didn't have the money to buy that in the first place so the quilt kit was definitely out of the question...
...."moooom?"
...."Yes honey?"
....."This is really pretty fabric..."
..."Yes it is - and the quilt would be very easy to make," (at this point the sales lady says, "Oh yes, you can whip these up in about 3 hours!" and I say, "Not with my sewing skills you can't!", anyway, back to the narrative),
..."Mmooomm I can't sew, and I'm really trying to work on my jewelry at the moment....do you think we could do this for my early birthday present?" (now the sales lady asks when my birthday is and I have to tell her that it is in September, to the laughter of everyone around us)
...."You want this? But...But...But....It's so simple! I could do something with a bit more flourish, though it might take a bit longer..." She kept spluttering at the near indignity of being asked to do something so rudimentary *sigh* she is sometimes too much of an artist, LOL.
...."But this would be a really good lap quilt that I could snuggle in and wash a million times and not have to worry about the dog farting on it and I could think of you every time I warm up under it.....Pleeeeease? I'll even buy it if you are willing to make it" (Here is where I do 'cute' eyes, which my mom knows is a joke as I would never beg and if she didn't want to, I'd never push her, but she's got that smile on her face, you know the one, where your mom really wants to indulge, but still can't believe you want something so small, simple, and inexpensive)
"Really? You want this? For your birthday? 4 months from now?" Her eyebrows are in danger of disappearing into her hairline from surprise...
"Mmmm hmmm. It is so pretty and simple and beautiful and I love it! And you'd have lots of time to finish it if you got busy with your art quilts,"
"Where's my credit card?"
"Woo!"
It was a good Mother's Day all around :-D
I hope your day was great too!

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