Very Hip Wrap Bracelet (BFFs)

Over the long break we got crafty!  MyGirl and I made some new bracelets from a DIY we found here.  I love sitting down with her and making things, it makes us both happy.  This is a really simple bracelet to make with only leather cord, waxed linen, and ball chains which you just wrap around each other.  We mixed it up and used some funkier beads for the clasp.  They turned out totally cute, and neither of us have taken our bracelets off (Besties forever).

These would make a fun handmade gift for her gilfriends at school, don't you think?


ThanksGiving @ Our House, A Recap

>>>Food Prep<<<

One reason Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday is all of the cooking.  I cannot get enough of chopping and dicing and stirring ingredients.  Stuffing is my all time must have dish, and this year I tried a new version...which was amazing!  It had proscuitto, pear, and toasted hazlenuts, along with all of those fresh savory herbs...I've been eating it for every meal since.


On Thanksgiving, everyone should feel spoiled, even Reuben, the dog.  He got to chew on a big fennel stalk (he loves his greens) and got a huge rawhide bone just for the occasion. 

>>>Good Food<<<

This year's menu included mini pumpkin pies, stuffing, pineapple glazed ham, candied yams, garlic mashed potatoes, gravy, homemade dinner rolls and pumpkin cheesecake.  Not too shabby!


Most important to me is that we enjoy our family.  And we did that, just the four of us, really well.


Give Thanks

"Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving." 
~Kahlil Gibran


What I've Been Making

Persimmon Triangle Earrings

Lapis Lazuli Teardrop Earrings

Emerald Green Turquoise Earrings

Chunky Wire Wrapped Aventurine Earrings

Charming Bird Necklace

Lost Stone and Feather Ring

Whew!  I've been busy!  I guess we all are this time of year.  I have been looking forward to sharing this new work with you all.  Favorites, anyone?  I love making earrings because they make so quickly, but making the more complex items, like rings, is so gratifying because of the difficulty of the process.

I wanted to get some work done in the studio before Thanksgiving takes over all of my time.  I am so looking forward to dinner and a whole day for nothing but my little family.  For me, Thanksgiving Day is honestly my favorite holiday.  You don't have the stress of presents, like Christmas,  just the day reserved for quality time with each other.  That's my kind of holiday.  I can't wait!


Gratified Friday: They're Crafty!

I am so lucky and grateful to belong to a crafty little family.  I love it that they all enjoy participating in the crazy projects I dream up.

Usually, this time of year I make a christmas wreath for the front door by wandering around picking up fallen evergreen branches and looping them around and adding a big bow.  Simple.  

But this year, I decided to get crafty and make a wreath that will last.  The best part is that I didn't make it.  We made it together, all four of us, one crafty family.  A bit more complicated but a lot more fun!

Believe it or not, we had no prior experience making felt flowers at all!  They are surprisingly easy and fun to make.  Look here for some felt flower tutorials, and here for wreath ideas.

Now I just need to get the wreath hung on the door!

Happy decorating!


Finally, A Much Needed Night Out

Matt surprised me and, ripping me away from the tight grip of cabin fever that had been holding me captive, took me on a date.  The date was amazing, and it was so wonderful to be out in the world past dark, and sans kids.

We went for dinner and drinks to McMenamins Grand Lodge.  This place almost has too much to do, with two restaurants, a movie theatre, a spa, and multiple bars...we could have stayed forever.  Really, we could have, because the place is a hotel too.  So I guess we will have to go back.

I loved the hustle and bustle of the place, hotel guests in their pjs walking through the halls, a packed restaurant, and live music playing.  McMenamins brews their own beer, so I tried the seasonal christmas ale (yum!) and we ate some great food.  After dinner we wandered down to the basement for some live music and found a cozy corner for russian coffees.

The really neat thing about McMenamins is the art.  I've been to a few of their other locations (Seattle, Portland, and Centralia) and each one is an old renovated building with murals, statues, and mosaics decorating every surface.  You can get lost in the place just looking at all of the art.

The only down side about our fun date night is that now I want to go again....has the outing helped my cabin fever or made it worse...hmmm.


Gratified Fridays: Studio Time

It's Veteran's Day!  Why am I so excited....it's a holiday for the kids, so no school.  That means we get to bum around the house all day.  I plan on working in the studio, which I have been meaning to do all week, and I bet the kiddos will be right beside me cooking up their own crafty projects..sculpy, painting, drawing...they always surprise me with their innovations.  Hopefully I'll have some of my own!

So this friday, I am grateful for getting in some studio time and for having no other plans at all.

Happy 11-11-11, everyone!


Roots and Lentils

Hey all, it is definitely time to get out the soup pot, and this week, since I'm tired of my old stand by recipes, I gave this new soup a try.  Check out this Lentil and Root Stew from the fabulous food blog, Allotment 2 Kitchen (you should because her photos are so much better, and she made dumplings to go with!).  

My favorite part of this new recipe was the spices; coriander and cumin.  The soup had an earthy and non-american taste that was so heart warming and delicious.  Not to mention, I am a huge fan of vegetarian cuisine, especially when I know it is loaded with protein (even without the meat...thank you lentils).

This recipe is absolutely a keeper!

Keep warm everyone!


A Little Note, From Reuben The Dog, With Love

“Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” ― Rumi


Art Smart

Remember those posters I made for the fall carnival?  Well, after that project, I was asked to help teach the after school art program!  Years ago, I taught watercolor classes part time to teens, so I figured this would be a fun opportunity, and one that I could really help with.  So I was given free reign to come up with four different projects.  As an extra bonus, my two kiddos get to attend for free.  :)

Last week we worked in oil pastel and watercolor and masking tape.  I taught the kids about using 'resist' techniques to control the paint...they were so into it!  We only have a bit over an hour, and these kids couldn't paint enough!  Some of them made at least three paintings, and they all were really inspired by the process.

>>>How To:  Abstract Watercolor Painting Using Resists


Cold pressed watercolor paper
Oil pastels
Masking tape


Tape the paper to the table to keep it from buckling.  Before painting, first use masking tape and oil pastels to create your design.  Using generous amounts of watercolor paint and a 'wash' technique, paint over your design.  Watch as the oil pastel and tape control where your paint goes.  Let your work dry a bit, and then take off all the tape.  Notice the clean white border around your paper, and the clean white paper that was hiding under any other tape lines!

It's a shame that art is always the first thing to be cut from a school's budget.  These kids are so lucky to have volunteers willing to come in after school (and once a month during school) to make sure there is still art in the curriculum!  I am very happy to be involved, and so appreciate the other moms and volunteers that make these programs a success!


New Work: Rings and Hoops

 I've got some really neat new rings finished, made of natural stone (Moss Opalite, Snakeskin Agate, and Chrysocolla).  It has been so inspiring designing these settings, I just can't work enough!  There are two new hoop designs now too, simple lightweight silver hoops.  I made myself a pair of the spiral hoops and want them in every day!

The weather has been cold, the frosty temperatures coming more frequently now, and I had to set up a few heaters out in the studio to keep warm.  I find that I am a lot more creative during the colder months without those carefree summer days to distract me.

It's about time to cozy up with some warm tea and get to creating!

From left to right, Snowing Mountains Ring, Persephone Ring, and Viking Ring.


Too Much Beauty

These are just a few beautiful shots I've taken lately....the season is too lovely for words with smiles to match.  :)


Our Tricks and Treats

I love Halloween.  I love the costume design, the kid's excitement, and walking around under the night sky.  I love carving pumpkins and roasting pumpkin seeds.

This year was MyBoy's last year (oh, sad!), and he wanted to be a cereal box so his friend could chase him with a fake knife as a 'serial killer'.  Ha Ha!

The night before Halloween, MyBoy and I sat together on the floor watching River Monsters, and drawing the Captain Crunch details onto the box (thanks Matt for making the box perfect!!).  MyBoy even added the ingredients to the side and a crossword on the back, so cool.  He trick-or-treated with his friends while Matt and I took the cutest lioness out for the night.  She scored a ton of candy!

Today the kids have a trick-or-treat candy hangover, well deserved.  While volunteering this morning at their school, I noticed a lot of other sleepy looking kids.  :)

I hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween this year!!