Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cyber Monday Sale

sorry I've been neglecting this blog -- busy, busy, busy.

But I'm having Half Price Madness Cyber Monday Sale at my Artfire Shop.

Unbelievable bargains from now till 6:30 p.m. tomorrow.

Come and get 'em!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

2010 Mandarin Craft Festival

Click Pix for closeup

Aside from having to make two 112 mile trips (56 mi each way) back and forth to Jacksonville, I'd say Mandarin was worth it.

I made back my booth rent, plus gas money = sold about $220 so that was pretty decent.

Michael and I drove down Friday after I got off work. I was pleased to learn that I had a complete 10 x 10 space but I'd only brought one table because I was led to believe that's all the space I was allotted.

We set that table up, put on the tablecloths, etc. and set out all the velvet busts. We put tablecloths over the big plastic tubs to signify our intention to utilize the full 10 x 10 space.

When we came in this morning I was quite dismayed to see that the people next to us - who had the equivalent of TWO booth spaces had situated their tables so that I couldn't set my space up the way I usually do with two long tables on either side and the short table in the back as my check out.

The lady on the other side was quite miffed about this situation and came to my defense.

"You know, that's not really fair. Now she hardly has enough room for people to come into her space," she told my two booth neighbor who appeared nonplussed.

Anywho - rather than spend the day in a huff, I just changed my booth configuration around and put the smaller table on the left so the two booth lady could have her lane. You can see in the picture how smushed everything looks. I hated that but whatchagonnado?

People had to be patient and wait until others finished browsing my space before they could come in but for the most part, it all worked out.

I was VERY glad that I had the ability to take credit cards because I had five charge sales and quite a few cash sales. Plus there were two ladies who are going to buy items from the website after I make them.

One is a breast cancer survivor who wanted earrings. There were a goodly number of survivors there today and I was able to sell some pink ribbon items to raise money for Susan Komen foundation. One lady told me how her sister had just had a double mastectomy, has no insurance, and the Susan Komen foundation had taken care of everything. Stories like that really warm my heart and reaffirm my continued support for this organization.

When the lady came around to ask how we had done, I said we had done well and would like to come back next year.

More pix are here

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Late Post on Rock Shrimp Fest

So, Rock Shrimp 2010 is history. I made my booth rent + $5 so after I paid my helper, I really didn't even break even. SIGH

The no-see-ums were out in force as we were setting up and what's the one thing I forgot? Insect spray, of course. I did bring some bounce sheets, though so I tied one to the back of my necklace and that helped a little but those rotten little bast*rds deviled us the whole time we were setting up the tent and hung around most of the day. Down closer to the water, they're not as bad but we were nowhere near the river so they pestered us unmercifully.

There were a LOT of people after the parade but mostly lookers, unfortunately. One lady drove up from Fernandina Beach so that was nice. She bought my double strand black Swarovski bracelet.

It was hot, too, so that made it rather unpleasant. At least our booth had shade for pretty much the whole day because they put us beside a tree.

The booth next to me had those dichroic glass loops and ribbon necklaces for $5 but she was mostly selling purses. She had two booths and paid $85 for each. Whoa! but that's all she does. They did Jekyll Island 2 wks ago and said they didn't do too well their either.

We had a visit from a really pathetic little kitty. I felt so sorry for her! She was nothing but skin and bones, a dreadful looking matted, nasty, dirty coat and yet she had a flea collar on so she must've belonged to someone at some point. I'd only eaten half of my tuna rollup so I put it down for her and man, she scarfed it up. Heck, she even ate the tortilla! We also gave her some water out of the little plastic dish my apple salad came in and she took a good long drink. Bless her little heart! She stayed with us awhile then wandered into the booth next door but they kicked her out and she came back to us. After awhile she wandered off and we didn't see her again. Poor kitty.

After the cat left, I filled he bowl up again with water and was offering it to dogs as they came by with their tongues lolling out. Why the heck do people bring dogs to those events? *shakes head*

So even though I didn't make a lot of money, it was still okay. My helper is a very nice young man who kept me in good spirits all day with his funny comments and what not so it was fun.

Oct 15 is the big fair down in Jax that I paid $80 (the most I've ever paid) so I'm hoping that one will really pan out. I'm only going to have ONE table instead of two though so that kinda sucks. I won't have enough space to set out nearly the quantity of goods I like to make available.

Pix are HERE

Saturday, September 4, 2010

11th Anniversary

Dinner at Ichiban Buffet was nothing short of fabulous! The only problem was: there are too many choices! Daniel chose king crab legs, prime rib, scallops wrapped in bacon and several other items which escape my memory at the moment. I had exquisite salmon, wonderful veggie fried rice, shrimp several ways and egg drop soup.

We both had desserts - yes more than one because the dessert buffet was laden with irresistible choices, too.

As we were leaving, Samantha wished us Happy Anniversary and presented us with the cutest little toothpick holder. You push the bird's head and he leans down and picks up a toothpick for you. Adorable!
We were both feeling absolutely stuffed to the max so we went for a walk on the beach. It was absolutely lovely! A wonderful ocean breeze, not too crowded, good gull and wave activity. We loved it.

So without further ado, Pix are HERE.

Of course, although the evening progressed nicely, I ended up not getting to sleep until about 3 a.m.
But it was my own fault. I'm super sensitive to caffeine and I'd munched half a dark chocolate bar earlier in the day then foolishly had mint chocolate chip ice cream with my dinner. Bad move! As a result, I tossed and turned and nearly lost my mind trying to get to sleep.

One of the thoughts I scampering through my mind like a rabid squirrel was about the necklaces for the bride. She'd chosen these stones and yet I was still worried whether or not she'd like the completed designs.

When the pkg arrived, I swear to you it weighed ten pounds if it weighed an ounce. Silly me, in ordering white agate and white chalk turquoise, I chose stones that were far too large and ordered four strands of each. (She'd originally wanted a three-strand, but said if the stones were too large, I could use my own discretion and go with a single.)

Good thing I also ordered smaller ones because that's what I ended up using. They both have the same Bali silver clasp which I think is pretty enough to be worn in front and in this case, should be because it will provide unity without being too matchy match because the stones are different. I separated the stones with fire polished Czech glass bicones for a bit of bling and to keep the stones from rubbing against one another.

The bridesmaids (sisters of the bride) are wearing bright red strapless dresses, cocktail length, so I set the finished necklaces atop a beautiful duvet I have made of embroidered satin. I just now e-mailed her the pix and will wait anxiously to hear if she approves this, my third attempt at making her sisters' necklaces. :)

click on pic for closeup

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Stars + Stripes Freedom Festival

So my helper arrived right on time at 7:30 a.m. I knew I could count on him. He's a really good young man. It was a pretty good event, all things considered.
The only major hassle was the wind. It knocked over my displays several times, which is always a hassle - but it sure beats sweating to death as we have done in years past at this event. Phew!
The recent rains here brought the temps down to a reasonable degree. I think it was in high 80s today instead over over 90. But with the ample breezes blowing, I lost a peace jade earring somewhere when my display fell over. Darn! Hate when that happens! At first it was really slow then it picked up around noon time then got slow again. The event only lasted from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. so that was good. I'd packed a lunch for Michael and me and we were so hungry, we ate it around 10 after 11. Later on, we shared a funnel cake which was so huge, I ended up bringing a large portion home to Daniel.

There was live music all day and several other entertainers when the main band took a break. Even a little Elvis impersonator. There's a slide show HERE. I didn't do all that great saleswise. At least I made my booth rent and a little left over - enough to pay my excellent helper. It's not always about just the money. Sometimes, it's about the experience and the fun....and the networking.

Enjoy your 4th, people!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Champagne and Pearls

Today's accomplishment was a necklace and earring set. I'm head over heels in love with these darling little glass fringe beads. The way they enhance my designs reminds me of how the bubbles in a glass of champagne give it just that extra little kick that makes it so special. Swarovski baroque pearls and crystal bicones combine with glass pearls and glass fringe beads in what I call "Champagne and pearls." What do you think? click on picture for closer view. Now for the shameless self-promotion part: This set is available in my Artfire Shop at a special 3rd anniversary price. ;)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Fun in the Sun - 2010

Another Fun in the Sun is history and while this one definitely had plenty of sun - you couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day - what it did not have was plenty of people.

I was quite surprised by the sparsity of the crowds at this year's event. There were so few people, in fact, that by about 3 p.m. what little foot traffic there was had dwindled down to almost nothing so we packed up and left.

Still, it was not a total loss. As long as I make my booth rent, I figure I'm okay. Met some nice folks, had a few laughs and shared the booth for part of the day with my friend Robyn, whose beautiful kanzashis drew lots of admirers.

Both my helper James and I ended up with sunburns. I remembered the bug spray (didn't need it) but forgot the sunscreen (missed it sorely).

James had stayed up the night before till about 1 a.m. so he slipped off for a few catnaps in the car. There was a lovely breeze coming off the St. Marys River so although it wasn't exactly cool, it was relatively comfortable.

This friendly boxer acted as unofficial greeter at the concession stand near the rest rooms. He was so sweet and friendly and believe it or, spent most of the day paws up on the counter, saying hello to all and sundry.

Our booth was across from a food vendor. One of their items was friend pickles! Have you ever?

There was a couple next to us from Jesup, GA with absolutely beautiful handmade cutting boards and and furniture as well as quilts.

I won't be going back to St. Marys until the Fall now. They do have a big 4th of July shindig, but booth rents are $100 and I don't go that high, thanks.

So now I'm investigating other venues, hopefully indoors, to keep me busy between now and Rock Shrimp on September 25.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Got to the Shrimp Fest early - around 9:30 or 10, I guess. Our parking lot only had two or three other cars in it and the crowds were still minimal.

I took 93 pictures, bought a few little trinkets, and walked, and walked, and walked. Didn't help that today was HOT - I think our hottest temp so far this year. It figures! Temps always seem to rise at Shrimp Fest time.

My old legs are really aching me tonight! But it was fun. I got some good ideas for my booth May 29 in St. Marys. Looking at how professional some of the jewelry booths were, I could see they'd put a lot of $$ into their displays.

The reason there are so many dog shots in my slide show is because I felt so sorry for them! Most of them had their tongues hanging out and looked as if they were extremely uncomfortable -- and it wasn't even noon yet! The worst was a guy with a baby in the backpack -- you'll see it in the slide show. Sure, the baby was asleep, but if you look closely, you'll see he or she has their dear little face all smooshed into the side of the backpack -- and Daddy walking along, clueless. *shakes head* Why people bring infants and dogs to events like this is beyond me!!

I left about 11:30 or 12, I guess. Not sure what time it was, but I knew I'd had enough of walking. The line of cars coming onto the island stretched forever and I was really glad I'd decided to come early. Anywho -- here's the slideshow.
And as for the Kentucky Derby, well I was just so happy for jockey Calvin Borel and trainer Pletcher. Calvin was on last year's winner but this was Pletcher's first win after 24 tries! YAY!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

If it's Spring, it must be Shrimp Fest

Here in Fernandina Beach, it's the annual Shrimp Festival this weekend. That means starting tomorrow, literally thousands of people will descend on our tiny burg and come Sunday evening, there will be a huge mess for the street crews to clean up.

Everywhere you look, you'll see people dressed up as Pirates. Saucy pirate wenches, pirate captains, mates, and general sailors will swagger through the crowds offering beads and saying, "Aargh!"

Of course there are craft booths. Why wouldn't there be? Vendors come from as far away as California to display their wares to the browsing throngs. I counted 23 jewelry booths on the vendor list! So why am I not among them? Could be that pesky old $300 booth rent!! That and the fact that each and every vendor must be approved by a jury. Tosh!

Perhaps one day my talent and skill will be such that I will consider such a booth rent mere pittance, but for now, I'm looking forward to...
the Fun in the Sun Expo in St. Marys, Georgia on May 29.

Now that I know for certain I'll definitely have a helper, the excitement has begun building for this event. The two shows I do in St. Marys - Fun in the Sun in the spring and the Rock Shrimp Festival in the fall - are the two biggest arts + crafts events all year for me. It's a LOT of work but it's well worth it because I usually do quite well at these. *knocks wood*

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Holy Moley!

Today's Arts + Crafts Fair at my church was absolutely fabulous. I am incredibly psyched and feel majorly validated and blessed.
Could it be because today was my BEST EVER? Whoa! Seriously! I sold $266 worth of handcrafted jewelry today!! WOO HOO!!! click on picture for close-up

I had a great spot, right in front of the stage in Maxwell Hall where our church holds the contemporary services. I was able to branch out and have and extra little table where I put my the sign up sheets for my giveaway, a bowl of individually wrapped mints and my checkout cubby.

My most exciting sale was the sale of my showstopper necklace -- which I only made yesterday--which consisted of pastel colored freshwater pearls, fire polished Czech glass beads and a beautiful antiqued silver rhinestone catch which is meant to be worn in the front.

The pink ribbon items sold exceptionally well, which means I'll be able to give a nice donation to Nassau Goes Pink. Chrissy will be pleased.

And I sold all but one or two of my bookmarks. People just loved them!

So between now and May 29, I'll be making lots more pink ribbon items and lots more bookmarks. People also seemed to like the wire wrapped glass bead bracelets so I'll make a few more of those, too.

It was great fun being next to the Blooming Bakery ladies and I was so touched when they said they hope we're next to each other at next year's event. When they made the half price announcement at 2 p.m., yours truly joined the line of folks snapping up the last of all those delicious home-baked goodies. I brought home a great haul of delicious delights to Daniel, who was delighted, of course.

Pix can be seen

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Savannah Grand Art + Craft Show

The art and craft show at Savannah Grand turned out very well.
As usual, I was the first vendor there. Can I help it if I prefer to take my time setting up?

Soon a gal came to set up beside me. Her craft was these lovely Kanzashi flower pins. So cute! I marvel at anyone with the patience to do such intricate work. It's kind of like origami only with cloth.

One of the sweetest things Robyn does is make memorial Kanzashi
A treasured keepsake to honor the memory of a loved one who is missing. What you do is give her an article of clothing from your loved one who has passed away and she uses it to make a keepsake flower pin. What a touching and splendid idea!

Robyn and I chatted throughout the day. This was her very first art and craft show and she was so excited when she made her first sale! Of course, I had to capture the moment for posterity. Shown with Robyn is the vivacious and wonderful Renee who came up with the idea of combining an open house with the craft show. The residents at this lovely assisted living facility just loved it!


click on pix to enlarge
If you're interested in one of Robyn's flower pins or memorial Kanzashi, e-mail her at

After we'd been there awhile, we received a visit from the fabulous
Raven who was also exhibiting at the show. Beautifully attired, as always, she is an incredibly talented, very elegant woman who has so many skills and facets, she's like a diamond: dancer, model, actress, writer, herbalist, and the list goes on. She brought around this marvelous jar of ointment - I forget the name of it now - but oh, it was amazing! She placed just the tiniest bit of it in our palms and said, "Rub your hands together.. now make a cup out of your hands and breathe it in." WOW! Talk about clearing mind and opening up your head! I have got to get me some of that!

Robyn and I will both be doing the art + craft show next weekend at
my church. It's always a fine event with good crowds and folks usually buy pretty well, too. So--two down, one to go! Next weekend should be fun. I'm really looking forward to it, my third year there.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Nassau Goes Pink!

click on pix to enlarge

Yesterday's First Annual Nassau Goes Pink Festival , while somewhat disappointing in various ways, was nonetheless a fun and uplifting event.
Always mindful of how long it takes to completely set up a booth and prepare my wares for display, I was the first vendor on the scene at 8 a.m. No one else was there when I first arrived, but soon one of the "official" ladies from NGP arrived and said she'd be picking up the founder Chrissy Branch soon.

I hung out in my car, enjoying the sea breeze from the nearby Atlantic Ocean at Main Beach Park until Chrissy arrived to show me where to set up.
Unfortunately, my good helper Dakota got a "real" job and was unavailable to help me. Try as I might, I never could find anyone to replace him so I went into this alone, with assurances from Chrissy that there would be folks around who could help me set up my tent.

The guys who were inflating the bouncy house lent a hand and soon my tent was pitched and I began preparing my booth for what I hoped would be a good crowd.
There were supposed to be 12 vendors but only 7 showed up. Now, I don't know about you, but to me, letting someone down at an event like this is tantamount to a slap in the face. C'mon, people, we're raising funds for charity here---raising funds for folks who have cancer. How could you back out at the last minute like that? It boggles the mind, I tell you!

Anywho -- I'll climb down off my soap box and relate the day's events.

Despite a vast army of biting gnats during the early hours, the rest of the day went very well. Entering my third year doing craft booths, I think I've about got it down to a science now. Of course, I usually manage to forget at least one major thing and yesterday was no exception. I had to call home and wake my sleeping spouse to ask him to bring me several items. Among them, my other cell phone and the 800 number for ProPay in case someone wanted to spend over $100. Hey, I was thinking BIG, okay?!

My phone had full charge the night before but by 10 a.m. yesterday, I was down to one bar. Weird, that, because my little phone usually holds a charge very well.

I've often said I'd like to have a dollar for every compliment I receive from non-purchasers and again, yesterday was no exception in that department either. It's lovely to hear praise for my work but I'm even happier when folks buy it!
I'd committed to donating 50% of my sales to Nassau Goes Pink and by day's end, I had rung up a commendable amount.

One table was set up with nothing but Pink Ribbon Items.

I sold almost all of my pink ribbon bookmarks-both large and small- so I'm going to have to re-order those silverplated shepherd's staffs and get busy making more.
Only sold two of the purse charms so I'll hold off making any more of those for awhile. It's amazing how people balk at paying $10 for something that takes that much work. I've seen items made the same way with regular beads and no pink ribbon charm selling for twice that. SIGH

Anywho -- of the booths that did show up, two which caught my attention were the tie dye lady
and the haircutting booth. One fellow with a ponytail donated his hair to Locks of Love. Check out the before and after:

I always hold a drawing at every event to give away a pair of earrings. Nothing like FREE in big red letters to draw people to your booth. My drawing slips have a place for people to check to join the mailing list. This is a great way to build a clientele base. I held the drawing at 5 p.m. and wouldn't you know, the name I pulled was one of the NGP gals. She was thrilled with the earrings and danced back over to their tables across the field wearing them to show the other girls.

As the hour grew later, I knew the doggone biting gnats would return and I wanted to exit before their arrival. Once again, experience has taught me the best way to break down a booth methodically so I was ready to leave in record time.

With almost everything in the car, I walked across the field to give Chrissy my donation. At first she didn't want to accept half my profits but I insisted and she hugged me and said a hearty thank you. She enlisted her son and another fellow to help me take down my tent and they thanked me for showing up and sticking with it.

Check out video HERE.

On the way home, exhausted and sunburned, I felt good. There's nothing like being part of something larger than yourself to bring on a warm fuzzy feeling.

My next two events - back to back the next two Saturdays - are both indoors so I won't have to contend with sunburn and bug bites, thank goodness, but they're just regular arts + crafts fairs and don't have the added incentive of raising funds. Still, it was my first show of the year and I was happy with it. Here we go again!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Earth Hour---are you participating?

Just a quick post to remind everyone if you haven't yet signed up for Earth Hour, please do so.

Lights off at 8:30 p.m. tomorrow night.

From the website:

Earth Hour is a global call to action to every individual, every business and every community throughout the world to turn the lights off for one hour. It is a call to stand up, to take responsibility, to make a stand against climate change, to get involved and lead the way towards a sustainable future. Iconic buildings and landmarks from Scandinavia to Europe to Asia to the Americas will stand in darkness.

I think we should all do everything we can -- which means that even when Earth Hour is over, we should be mindful of our electricity usage. For tips on saving electricity at home,
look here. And for all of us who use computers a lot, this makes for interesting reading.

Enjoy your weekend, people!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Think Spring!

So instead of preparing for my trip to Boston this coming weekend, I'm taking a break from all the hustle and bustle to create something pretty using components from my good friends at Artbeads.
This pretty little two-strand bracelet is just the ticket to put a bit of Spring into your outlook. click on photo for closeup

Comprised of precious little 4+5mm pastel freshwater potato pearls, the bracelet also features a Hill Tribe flower clasp and a darling little sterling silver dragonfly charm.

There are also danglers created with faceted Cubic zirconia bicones in shades of pink, lilac, peridot and clear.

I placed a dime in the photo so you could see just how delicate and sweet this little charmer is. Think Spring!


FTC compliance disclosure, notice of material connections: the items in this post from Artbeads were provided as a promotional gift as part of the Blog Partner Program for review or design purposes.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Seen at Milan Fashion Week

What were the models showing Giorgio Armani's designs at
Milan Fashion Week wearing around their perfect, slender necks?Chunky jewelry with major focal pieces--

Then there was this piece which was reminiscent of Art Nouveau style. The rose motif was popularized by Charles Rennie McIntosh

My question is: where does one find such major focal pieces as these? I suppose the extremely talented make their own, eh?
I, however, am not quite that clever so I reckon I'll be scouring the interwebs for fabulous focals.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I shall wear purple

A week from tomorrow I'm headed up to Boston to spend my 60th birthday with my mother and all my half-siblings. Four brothers and three sisters. We were raised apart and this will only be the fourth time we've been in one another's company.

Since I'm facing the big 6-0, I've decided that rather than freaking out because it means I'm *gasp*
getting old, I'm going to look upon it as having reached the age where one is permitted to flaunt one's eccentricities. For me, one of those eccentricities includes the wearing of purple.

Toward that end, I've been gradually assembling an entire wardrobe of purple items--tops, sweaters, scarves, etc. And when I make my trip to Boston, I shall wear nothing but purple.

One of my favorite recent purchases was a delicious Purple hoodie that is absolutely the cuddliest most splendidly purple item I've ever owned. I love it! The scarf in the picture was given to me by my very dear late friend, Miss Clare. She was always impeccably attired and wearing it makes me feel elegant....and close to her.
This particular garment comes from Roaman's where the prices are not always uh, shall we say, economical. But I - thrifty shopper that I am, only paid $8 for it! ;)

Just look at the warm wonderful thermal weave of the fabric. Perfect for the cold Boston weather!

It's been such fun gathering all the lovely purple tops and things and putting together outfits. I know I'm cutting it very close but I did make one more online purchase just this evening, a charming cable knit beret in a lovely shade of lavender that will be the perfect finishing touch.

Who knows where this purple obsession will lead me? Only time will tell and I'll be sure to share all my delightful purchases here with you, dear readers!

Monday, February 15, 2010

And the Winner is.....

First of all, a huge, heartfelt thank you to everyone who participated in my One World, One Heart giveaway.

I thoroughly enjoyed traveling on the magic carpet and visiting everyone's interesting blogs.

What a talented bunch of people I met from all over the globe.

I learned new things, saw many delightful creations and most of all, found new friends.

Using a random number generator, I picked a winner and that winner is (drum roll please) is the lovely and talented Melodye Shore from California. Here's Melodye's comment:

What a thoughtful, generous giveaway! My sister had breast cancer, and I see the keychain as talisman of solidarity, in support of those who've suffered and those who are still fighting for a cure.

A Talisman of Solidarity. Wow. What a wonderful thought!
So many of our sisters, mothers, cousins, aunts and friends suffer from this dreadful disease. Let's all do our part in the battle. Make a
donation here or here.

In April, I'll be setting up a booth at the first annual event for Nassau Goes Pink. I'll have lots of different breast cancer logo goodies with half my proceeds going to fight cancer in all its forms.

Blessings and thanks again to all who stopped by during One World, One Heart. You displayed the true unity behind the annual event and I hope you'll continue to stop by and visit!


Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Funny Valentine

When I remember other Valentine's Days that were heartbreakingly sad, I'm so grateful I'll never have to feel that way again as long as I have my Boone Doggie.

"Although he may not be the man some girls think of as handsome, to my heart he carries the key."

He's my Boone Doggie, my best buddy, my lover, my husband, my friend. He's seen me at my best, he's seen me at my worst, and no matter what, he's been there for me--through sickness and health, for richer or poorer, he's at my side.

I'm so blessed to have my darlin' Daniel, my funny valentine.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Saturday Lesson

You are cordially invited to go with me while I run my Saturday errands.
First stop: Wally World where you might have thought it was Christmas Eve instead of Valentine's Day eve.
The place was packed!!

And what a huge array of consumer goods were displayed for the late Valentine shopper! The number of stuffed animals, bags and bags of candy, heart shaped boxes of chocolates, and flowers was insane! People were really in a frenzy!

Next up: Winn-Dixie for groceries. Not only did I save $17 today on my grocery bill, but I also racked up savings on my gas by using my Winn-Dixie card. ;)

Whenever I shop, I always fill a bag for the food bank. I'd forgotten to deliver it last week and as it turned out, I was glad it was still in the car. After I'd completed my shopping, I was driving past the empty lot beside the grocery store when I came upon a couple standing beside their car which had been heaped high with various and sundry items. The man was holding a sign: Please buy or donate.

I pulled over and motioned to them to open the back door. "I was going to take this bag to the food bank. Please, take it." They were so grateful and so happy for just that small bag of groceries. I wished I could have done more.

After seeing aisle after aisle of so much STUFF and then seeing these poor folks in such dire straits, it really gave me something to think about. There but for the grace of God.....

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Chilly Sunday Four-Strand

When I went outside for a walkabout on our property this morning, I was glad I had my coat on! Brrrr! 43 degrees may not seem cold to you...I know it's nothing compared to some places where it's below zero and snowing but hey, I live in Northeast Florida. My blood is thin! LOL I've got two pairs of socks on and my feet are still cold! SOon as I finish this blog post, I think I'm going to go curl up in my chair under a blanket! I'm pleased to report I have made some progress on getting stuff together for my taxes but it's been awhile since I've made any jewelry so once I completed phase one of the tax prep this afternoon, I sat down and made this: click on photo for close-up view
Beautiful Chinese cloisonne beads combine with red aventurine beads and faceted Czech glass fire polished beads separated by glass bugle beads and crow beads in this 24-inch multi-strand necklace. It's for sale in my
Artfire Shop where 50 % of my profits are still going to Doctors Without Borders providing relief to Haiti.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

One World/One Heart Giveaway

I'm a little late this year but better late than never, right?!? This is my second year participating. Last year I made many new friends and had a grand time visiting everyone's blogs and seeing what everyone is making. Come join the fun!

One World/One Heart Giveaway is an annual event during which handcrafters from around the globe get together to hold giveaways from their blogs and to meet other crafters. It's fabulous fun and a great way to make new friends!

For more information, click on this picture!
Photo Check out all the wonderful possibilities from talented craftspeople all over the globe!

This year, my giveaway is a purse charm composed of beautiful faceted Czech glass beads, glass pearls and featuring two breast cancer logo charms -- one in enameled metal and one in a handcrafted lampwork glass bead.

The entire pretty piece swings from a swivel clasp which easily attaches to your purse, belt loop or whatever!

To enter, simply leave a comment on this blog entry. I'll need your e-mail address to contact you if you're my lucky winner.

Contest ends February 15th so get your entry in quickly!

My Worst Pet Peeve!

If there's one thing in this universe that I absolutely hate, loathe and despise, it's doing taxes!!!
If I were more organized, I'd keep my records through the year, making notations in a ledger monthly of all the incoming and outgoing deneros of my biz. But oh, no! Not me! I'm too busy for all that nonsense. Which is why I end up having to do the entire year's worth of accounting all at once. Why do I torture myself this way?!?!?!
I can think of better things do be doing on a rainy Saturday morning but here I sit, rooting through stacks of receipts, trying to make sense of what I laid out on the biz last year. And these are only part of the expenses. The rest has to be sorted out by going through my monthly statements, one at a time, and highlighting all the entries that pertain to Adagio. Oy!

At least I have a picture of my smiling spouse to keep me company -- Doubt if he'll be smiling so sweetly when we finally go see the tax man!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

More Ways to Help

From my e-mail In Box

According to Unicef, 46% of Haitians do not have access to safe drinking water.
However, Unicef can purify water at a cost of 1 cent per liter.
It only costs 50 cents to provide clean drinking water to a
family of four for a full month.
Therefore, is going to donate 5 cents per every
printable coupon redeemed in the next week, beginning today.
When you use 10 coupons printed through our links,
you will provide clean water to a family
for a month at no cost to you.
You do not have to use the coupon within the next week, but you do need to print it by the end of the day Tuesday, January 26th to be counted.
Please forward this email to friends and family to encourage them to help in our Haiti fundraising drive, at no cost to shoppers. In fact, you'll save more! Print your coupons from the links below to be counted in the drive.

Hi, my name is Carmen Queen.
I came across your website and was thrilled to read your post about Edsel and Jayne.
My husband is in charge of the Haiti relief website for FISH, he has been working
with them for a while, and I was wondering if you could add our website for updates
regarding FISH and Haiti. We are in contact with Jayne daily getting our information,
and I'd love for more people to have awareness of what FISH Ministries does.

We also have a FISH Ministry facebook link too.
This way, anyone who is following the events can easily view the
information we've been asked to relay.
Thank you so much, have a great night.
Carmen Queen

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hoping to help...a little

In an effort to raise additional funds to contribute, I'll be donating 50% of profits from today to 1/31 to Doctors Without Borders as a small way to help those affected by the devastating earthquake in Haiti.

Also asking those who feel moved to do so, to help here as well:

Edsel and Jayne Redden, who have been working for many years in Haiti feeding children through a ministry they started called Fish Ministries.. (They are the ones who make the ribs we’ve had for several functions to raise money to support the ministry efforts.) Through their efforts and expertise in agriculture, aquaculture, etc (Edsel is an agricultural scientist with the Univ. of Fla. IFAS program) 1800 children have been fed every week for many years.

The earthquake has obviously devastated Haiti throughout, and the need all over the country is overwhelming. That is true of the of the Fish Ministries locations, too, specifically Christianville and Robinson’s school, the two locations out of which the kids are fed. These locations are about 18 miles west of Port au Prince, and about 5 miles from the quake’s epicenter. All the facilities (save one guest house) were flattened in the earthquake, including schools at both locations and the eye clinic, dental clinic and housing at Christianville. Edsel is still waiting word on the fish ponds and chicken coops used to raise the protein for the feeding effort, but it is clear that everything is in great disarray. Edsel does know that the feeding of the 1800 kids has not taken place since the earthquake, and feeding them, and providing medical care, are the most immediate pressing needs.

Edsel is trying to get to Haiti, but that is extremely challenging due to the inability of Haiti’s airport and infrastructure to handle the influx of aid workers and personnel. He is working with the military through a contact and has been assured that he will be able to obtain transport for him and 3-5 doctors who have committed to go with him, as well as supplies, food and other needed items. Although he doesn’t know when they will be able to get into Haiti, he is assured that they will be, and he needs to be prepared, equipped and supplied to leave immediately.


1. PRAY , including for the overall relief efforts in the country, as well as specifically for Edsel and his team to get down to Haiti. When they arrive, they need to get to his ministry locations and re-establish the feeding effort (incl. water), deliver medical care, address shelter needs, and do whatever needs to be done.

2. GIVE MONEY – Edsel assures me that all of it will be used to provide food for the 1800 kids and medical care. He said to assure you that none of the money will be used for transportation – it will ALL go for the feeding of people and delivery of medical care. Those of us who know Edsel know that these are not empty words.

Your tax deductible contribution can be made payable as follows:

“Christianville Foundation” and make sure to put in the memo section “Fish Ministries Quake Relief”

Please send donations asap to this address: :Christianville Foundation, P.O. Box 24598, Jacksonville, FL 32241

Please do what you can. Also, please circulate this as you feel is appropriate.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Post-Holiday Ramblings

We had a lovely Christmas this year, mostly because my husband and I had a visit from my wonderful son and his equally wonderful girlfriend. Having young people in the house made everything so much more festive.

Christmas Eve our TV died just before dinner so once we'd eaten, we had to go out anyway for some critical item I'd forgotten and we wound up at Wal-Mart. I figured I might have enough on my Wal-Mart card to find a pretty decent TV. My son has a Droid phone so he looked up my balance somehow. I'm telling you, the doggone phone does everything!

When we were at Pop + Mama Jean's for Thanksgiving (my in laws) Pop showed us his HDTV. We watched the Macy's parade and I was amazed at the clarity and sharpness of the picture.

I located a TV I thought I could afford and was mulling it over when my son came up and said, "Mom, come look at this one." It was a 32" RCA HDTV.

"Oh, that's over my limit, son," I said.

"We'll make up the difference," replied my offspring.
So we toddled home in Sam's little Cavalier with her crammed in next to the huge TV box in the back seat. I think it was fitting that the first movie we saw on our new TV was "Holiday Inn" wherein the famous "White Christmas" is sung.

The kids gave me a terrific book - Making Designer Jewelry. It's chock full of amazing designs, instructions and beautiful pix. I'm looking forward to tackling many of them!

I wish everyone a very happy, healthy and productive 2010!

Sammy, Bob and Mama on the beach Christmas Eve.