Monday, December 28, 2009

No Time to Think

Just when I thought that the holidays were over and we could let out a sigh of relief I found myself getting motivated to paint, make more jewelry and gem trees.  The paintings you can see in my previous post and the jewelry I have yet to photograph. I also have more cookies to make for my nephew and his wife before they head back to Oklahoma on Wednesday.....humm I guess that will be a tomorrow job.

I received a special order in December for 6 opal gem trees that have to be mailed by Jan. 15th, so I got busy today and started making my branches. One tree is completely put together and the others are on pieces on my dining room table in various stages of completion. See messy photo. The trees have either 3 little pearls, blue topaz or peridot at the tip and then I glue opal cabs on as leaves. Makes a stunning litle tree. I have a feeling that they will all get finished this week and be ready to mail next week.....woo hoo. Then I can concentrate on some of my other activities.

Speaking of other activities, January 16th I'll be teaching a fine silver fusing class for my gem and mineral club. I still have yet to order the wire, I guess that will have to be this week also to ensure that I get it in on time.

I hope everybody is having a great week so far and have a safe New Year's Eve.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

New Paintings

I've been wanting to learn how to use acrylic paints for quite a while. I figure if I can paint watercolor then acrylic should be a breeze right? Well it is easier to learn, but it is not a breeze. Not sure if any of these are marketable yet, but my newest painting (sunflowers) is much better. All of these except for the sunflowers are ACEO's which are Art Cards, Editions or Originals in a 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch size, so they are quite small. The sunflowers is a 5 x 7. I really wanted to start painting some ACEO's and thought this would be a good opportunity. I probably should have started out with a larger size to get a better feel of the canvas and paints, but it is what it is.

So, what do you think?

Happy Holidays.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Holiday Treats

Well the past several days I have been baking. Yes I did cheat a bit...okay a whole lot but you would never know it if I threw away the Betty Crocker cookie box on my counter.  My hubby decided that this would be a great way to make my baking life easier and yes it is and the cookies do taste good. I made the Russian Tea Cakes and the Frosted Thumbprint cookies from this box and no one knew...that is the best part. I still have lots more to do but I still have several days left of baking.

This is my messy counter in all it's sweet glory.

So my treats this year consist of Chocolate covered prezels with Heath Toffee bits and mixed nuts, Russian Tea Cakes, Gingersnaps, Frosted Thumbprint cookies and Peppermint bark. I still have some mint brownies to do and maybe more Gingersnaps as that is all that is left from taking a pile to my mothers tonight for dinner. You got to love Betty Crocker.

Hopefully everyone had a great weekend. Cheers and look forward to some photos of my paintings tomorrow.   Dana

Friday, December 18, 2009

And the Winner is...

I just picked the winner and notified her via e-mail from and it is Ann On and On. Congratulations and thanks for all who entered and followed me during this giveaway.

Moonstone Necklace and Holiday Fun

My final giveaway for the year is ending tonight at 6:00 pm PST, so if you haven't entered do so quick. It is a beautiful set and could be used as a gift or as a gift to yourself. I do want to thank The Give-Away Diva for all her help in generating interest in this giveaway and for her review. Also, thanks to all who have entered and now are following this blog or my Facebook Fan page. My next giveaway will be in January and will be an autographed copy of my book "Gem Tree Sculptures". This book would be perfect for a man or woman who likes to work with their hands or is crafty.

On to the holiday, today is cookie making day. I decided to do a limited amout of cookies as all of us don't need the extra poundage but we love the sweets. I have my butter out so that it can warm up to room temp and then I'll make my Russian Tea Cakes and Thumbprint cookies. They use the same recipe so that makes it easy. One is just rolled in powdered sugar and the other is filled with frosting....yummy. I'll post pictures tomorrow along with the recipe.

So are you doing any holiday crafting or baking? My craftyness now is learning how to use acrylic paints to paint ACEO's. ACEO's are art cards, editions or original works of art in a very small size of 2 1/2 by 3 1/2. I found some canvases and bought some paints and have been painting little works of art. Okay, I'm not sure they can be considered works of art yet (see picture), but I'm getting better. I probably should have started with a bigger canvas for learning to use acrylic paint but I really wanted to start making these little paintings.  My favorite is the tropical scene with all it's bright little colors.

Cheers and have a great day.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Featured Artist - Vintage Soap Shoppe

I love soap as much as the next person but these soaps look wonderful. Face it we all need soap and why not try some of Angela's. She has soaps, candles and bath products in her Etsy and ArtFire shops.

Here is a little more about Angela:

She is a professional pastry chef and has been making hand made soap for years. She started a soap business 3 years ago due to the urging of friends and family. She started out doing retail and have expanded into the wholesale market. Her vendors are supportive of her creativity and request her soap cakes. She loves doing them as they are a lot of fun. She incorporates her love for the pastry arts and soap making in one.

Her biggest reward is when she hears such wonderful comments about her soap. Her specialty is her heavy cream and goatsmilk soaps. She uses local sustainable products in her soap business and loves researching for the best and most purest essential oils, herbs, bontanicals, roots and spices.

Using the purest, freshest ingredients is very important to Angela as you have to start with the best ingredients to get the best product.
Don't forget about my December giveaway. The deadline is tomorrow for that wonderful moonstone necklace and earring set. Here is the link to that blog post. Don't let this one pass you by.
Have a great day.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Featured Jewelry Artist - Flutter

One of my fellow Creative Bloggers is Phersmay and the name of her shop is Flutter. Nice fanciful name for some cute jewelry designs. You can check out her blog and jewelry HERE.

Here is one of my favorites, simple and sweet.

Phersmay is a stay at home mom to a beautiful little girl. She has several aspirations in life and right now she is living life the way she was meant to. By nature she is nurturing, eccentric, organised, bossy, flighty,dynamic, creative, and is always looking for inspiration in every aspect of life. She enjoys writing, loves to read poetry, and to spend time with the people she loves.

Enjoy and don't forget to enter my December giveaway.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Another picture

I'm not sure if this picture is any better than the one yesterday, but here is another shot of the December giveaway necklace set.

Today is one of those solomn days as it is the memorial and procession for the 4 slain police officers. For those of you that are not here in the States, last week a lone gunman went into a coffee shop and shot 4 police officers. He was found and shot while trying to escape and now they have found several people who helped him that will be going on trial. Obviously, this has been the biggest news in the area for the past week and our hearts and prayers go out to the family members of these officers.

I've put a link to a You Tube video of Wintley Phipps of Amazing Grace. This is one of my favorite songs. Take a listen and give thanks for your family today, I know I did.

Monday, December 07, 2009

December Giveaway - Moonstone necklace set

Here it is, the final giveaway for the year. The Giveaway Diva will also be featuring this giveaway so if you have arrived here from there, please let me know. You only have a short time to enter (Ends December 18th at 6:00 pm PST) as I will be ending this prior to Christmas so that I can get the item shipped. The picture of the necklace and earrings is a dark, but I had a hard time photographing moonstone. What you will receive is a 16" sterling silver chain with faceted moonstone briolettes. The pendant is about 1 1/4". The earrings are also included and are on sterling silver leverback style earrings. The drop features another moonstone briolette. The earring dangle is also about 1 1/4". This is a delicate set, but one that you can wear with most anything from a t-shirt to a fancy little black dress.

To enter you must leave comment(s) here on my blog. These are the rules.
  • Visit my 1000 Markets store or my Artfire store and let me know what your favorite item is and whether it would be for you or a gift. - Receive 1 entry per store you visit, this is the first step to getting entered no matter if you do any of the others or not. Links to my stores are below.
  • Follow my blog and you will receive 2 entries
  • Already a follower, let me know and you will also receive 2 entries
  • Fan my Facebook page and you will get 2 entries
  • Already a fan, you will get 2 entries, but you have to let me know in your comment
  • Follow the Giveaway Diva's blog, or her facebook page and receive 1 entry each
  • Blog about this giveaway or tweet about this giveaway and receive 2 entries for each
Any other advertising for me or this giveaway and you will receive additional entries into the giveway. Please feel free to leave me as many comments as you like to get that amount of entries into the giveaway. This set would make a perfect holiday present. This giveaway is open to my International followers also.

Also, please check out the Giveaway Diva's blog for additional giveaway's.

I look forward to your comments.  Cheers and happy holidays.
Here are the links to my shops.
1000 Markets

Saturday, December 05, 2009

My Jewelry Review

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, a pair of my earrings were going up for review by the Give-Away Diva. I will be hosting a giveaway soon on her blog, so stay tuned. Details will be out Monday. These are the earrings that she reviewed. They are simple, yet very good quality faceted garnets with 14 kt gold filled ear wires and gold vermeil findings. These earrings normally sell for around $18.00 so very affordable.

If you like this delicate look, then you will love the necklace and earrings that I'll be giving away this month.

Check out the Give-Away Diva's site and all her great giveaway and reviews. You never know what might be available.

Chow and have a great weekend.  Dana

Friday, December 04, 2009

The Giveaway Diva - Fabulous giveaways

If you haven't checked out the Giveaway Diva blog you just have to. She reviews products (yes, she will be reviewing one of mine soon) and then hosts a giveaway. This week the giveaway is for a Guy and Eva Britney Ring. Don't wait too long, this ring would be perfect for those special occassions.

Have fun entering all of her giveaways.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Featured Artist - Prideaux Prints

Okay, we are now officially back from vacation, have picked up the dogs from the sitter and bought groceries. Now to tackle the mounds of laundry from the trip. Sometimes I think there is more work to be done when you get home from a vacation than getting ready for vacation.

Today I will be promoting a friend of mine. She is a photographer and has traveled extensively. Donna just opened a shop on 1000 Markets, one of my favorite handmade sites, and I would like everyone to check out some of her work. She'll be posting more photos later this week, but here is one titled Small Town USA. It's one of my favorites.

Check out her shop Prideaux Prints HERE.

Donna indicates that photography is her passion. Her photos capture the beauty of her lovely home state of Oregon and many of the other states and countries she has visited. She also enjoyed the romance of Italy, particularly Venice; and hopes you enjoy it too.

I hope everyone is having a great week. Enjoy!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Monday

Good day to everyone. I've missed you. I know I posted a few blogs out here the past week for my giveaway, but I actually was on a cruise for the Thanksgiving holiday. We had a great time and was sea sick one day out of 7 which for me was good as I get sick at the drop of a hat when motion is involved. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and started their holiday shopping. I'll be starting mine here real soon and I've made a vow to either make gifts myself or buy hand made this year. We will see how this turns out.

If you missed my posts this past week I did have a giveaway over at Alterity Button Jewelry and Gifts and she picked a winner bright and early this morning. Congrats and thanks to all who entered and are now following this blog, my facebook fan page or twitter. I appreciate it.

I'm making this post short and quick as I still have a lot to catch up on. Hugs to you all. It's good to be connected again.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Let us not Forget...

You know, my Giveaway. Yea...banners flowing, confetti, balloons, lets celebrate!

Go to Alterity Button, Jewelry and Gifts for all the fantastic details.

Dear Entrecard Droppers, I have been absent, but I will be back.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Let's be Thankful


Week before Thanksgiving,
I limp around real strange.
Huddle in the corner,
As though I have the mange.
All the other turkeys,
Just gobble, gobble on.
I'm silent, and I act
As if my gobbler's gone. Everyone is thankful
On Thanksgiving Day.
Friday it's forgotten.
You all go on your way.
I know what thankful is
So listen when I say.
"It's great to be a turkey,
After Thanksgiving Day."


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Today is the Great Giveaway Day

I know I've been having a lot of these lately, but I have a lot to be thankful for and that is you. Check out Alterity Button Jewelry and Gifts blog for all the great details on how to get these special earrings from me to you.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Off to Neverland

I just love looking at fantasy prints and jewelry. It just takes me back to my childhood and reading fairy tale books and playing dress up. I can't really call the jewelry I make fantasy when you compare it to those items I have pictured which is why I find these items so fascinating.  Sometimes I just want to go off in my dream world and find that fantasy. All these items can be found at 1000 Markets in the Magical Talents market.

Ethereal Dream - Art Print by Ethereal Art
DRYAD NECKLACE in Sterling, and Gems by Sacred Sparks
Autumn Flame Amethyst & Copper Tiara Circlet Crown by Thyme2dream
Nevermore - 5x5 Fine Art Square Crow Print  by Zenbreeze Art Gallery

In other news, Alterity Button Jewelry & Gifts is hosting a giveaway for me. Along with finding out a little bit more about me, you can enter the giveaway and since you may already be a fan or follower...even more simple for you.  I will be giving away a pair of earrings. It will start on Tuesday which is tomorrow, but feel free to head on over to her blog and read a bit. The earrings will be similiar to those pictured below. As most of you know these are my signature charm earrings and are made to order, so you get to choose from 14 kt gold filled or sterling silver ear wires and a color choice for the charms.

Enjoy and have a great week.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Shamelessly Promoting

Yes, this will be one of those blogs where I shamelessly promote myself and others. Yesterday's post was all about earrings and today it is all about artists from the Pacific Northwest. The items in the picture above are mine and can be found in this market on the 1000 Markets site. Click HERE to see all the offerings.

Because I am shamelessly promoting, I should probably choose a few of my favorite items from this market just in case family members or friends are reading this and they need inspiration on what to get me as a present.... hint, hint.  Enjoy looking around the market.

Now doesn't this look like real chocolate. This is actually soap by Flowering Tree Botanicals.

This is a wonderful original Art Card, 2.5 by 3.5 inches by The Creators Palette.

And of course since we are all being environmentally conscious, I need more grocery more plastic for groceries. This one is made by Daogreer Earth Works and features a "Big Leaf  Maple" leaf on the front.

So, what are you wishing for this year?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Featured Artists and 1000 Markets - A Perfect Pair

One of my web sites is with 1000 Markets and one of the markets I belong to is A Perfect Pair. It's all about earrings if you didn't get the gist with the name. So, I'm doing a little marketing on my blog for them. We have a special earring category for the holidays of 20% off and free shipping. HERE is the link. Each artist was allowed 6 pair of earrings for this category. Can you find mine? Here are 5 of them.

There are some really talented jewelry designers out there so take a look around, visit my shop as well as others and get some holiday gifts marked off your list. Be sure to shop early so we can get things out in the mail to you.

Speaking of mail, most of my FB Fans have received their Facebook Fan gifts (except for those that live overseas), so if you haven't, and you sent me your address, hopefully you will soon. The gal at the postoffice did tell me that if we have a lot to mail between now and Christmas, to mail packages on a Tuesday. Monday's are their busiest day of the week. I'm definitely going to do my mailing now on a Tuesday.

Here are a few earrings that I just absolutely love that are in this same market.

This pair is by Oceano SeaGlass

These are by Mosiac Design Jewelry. Can you imagine the work that went into these.

These are just perfect for those with a November birthday. Made by DalMare.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Something New

This past week while I was getting prizes ready for mailing to my Facebook fans I created some Art Cards, Editions and Originals (ACEO's) from my original watercolor paintings. Some of my fans will be the first to receive them. I have been wanting to create some original ACEO's using watercolors or acrylics, but haven't found the time yet so prints were the next best thing. I'm hoping they are marketable so we will see what my fans have to say about them. They are limited editions of 20 of each painting. I think they turned out pretty good. The collage above is some of the ones I used in on the cards. For those of you that are unfamiliar with ACEO's, they are small trading cards 3.5"x2.5" and can be traded or sold as long as they are originals or editions. Here is a little bit more about them:

ACEO stands for "Art Cards, Editions and Originals". These cards have one main rule - they are 3.5 inches by 2.5 inches - the size of a trading card. The reason for this is, of course, that Art Cards are made to be traded! But while artists were happily trading cards, the general public was left out in the cold, having no Art Cards to trade. A group of artists realized this, and quickly made their cards available for sale at remarkably low prices so that everyone could join in the fun! Cards are also sold either as originals or editions. Make sure you know which you are buying! If it is a print it should say so, and it should be numbered and signed, usually on the back.  Art Cards can be a riot! Artists from all over the world are creating, and now selling these little gems in different mediums and of different subjects. Watercolor, Oil, Acrylic, Colored Pencil, Pastels, Pyrography, Pen and Ink, Sketching, Collage - the sky is the limit. Abstract, Surrealism, Outsider Art, Impressionism, Expressionism -every style you can think of - and then some!. Every interest and subject is covered! Extremely collectable Pocket Art, you can't stop at just one!

In other news, one of my blogger friends Nancy has a great web site where you can purchase tole painting books at a discount. I may have to give this some thought as they would probably have some great design ideas that I could use on art cards. Here is her blog and her web site.
My Idea Center

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Glad that is Over

The weekend is finally over and so is the craft show and the gem and mineral show that we were getting ready for. Now to get my prizes mailed out from the November giveaway and get organized for our Thanksgiving cruise. It will be a much needed week away from the rain. On the plus side, I did get some shopping for gemstones done this week. One of the vendors, Bend Bead, that has been coming to the show for several years has expanded their gemstone offerings to some wonderful quality stones. I did get some basic briolettes such as those pictures, quartz crystal, moonstone, chalcedony, rose quartz and pink amethyst as well as Oregon Sunstones and Holly Blue. I just couldn't resist even though I should have. Both the Sunstones and Holly Blue are from Oregon. I did create a pair of earrings last night out of the Holly Blue with Pink Amethyst, Moonstone, Blue Topaz and Purple Amethyst. They're fun and I even had a lady at the show comment on them and wants a pair for herself. So a new order already. This pair I'll probably list out on my 1000 Markets site for sale. If you don't know about Holly Blue here is a little bit more about this wonderful agate. If you want to check out Bend Beads site here is their web address:

What is Holly Blue Agate (Chalcedony)?
Holly Blue Chalcedony is one of the most favored materials from the Northwest of today's jewelers outside of the Ellensburg Blue Chalcedony. Holly Blue was found in the hills around Sweet Home, Oregon till a major timber company bought all the surrounding land where this material was found and made it private property with NO TRESPASSING of any kind for what ever reason. This hurt the rock hound community as this was a material with such vibrant colors that ranged for a light blue to an almost lavender in color. Holly could fetch from $5.00 per pound to $35.00 a pound back in the days when the material was still being dug. Today, it's going from $35.00 per pound and upwards of $400.00 and $500.00 per pound for the choicer grade of this excellent material. As for the cut stones, either faceted or cabed, the stones are sold by the carat and fetch an excellent price for the hobbyist or the professional jeweler. It was not uncommon to attend a gem show at a local west coast city and find pounds of this material on dealers tables for just a couple of bucks. Now days the material is rarely seen in the average gem shows in the rough for sale and if you find any, it has been cut into cabs that have grown very expensive.

The material is of a quartz makeup and is a very hard material and being of the quartz family it takes a mirror polish and the higher domes of the cabs bring the most money. The material is almost always fractured as for the ground movement when this material was being formed. It is the custom that when you got the rough with the outer rhyolite that it was to be tumbled to get the outer crust off and then you were able to see the fracture lines and brake the larger chunks down to smaller ones that would then be free of the fractures. Sometimes the old timers would then go ahead and tumble the pieces to a mirror polish as then the most discrete of cutters could see what they were buying. This was always the case and with some dealers is still being practiced today.

I hope everyone had a fun if not relaxing weekend. I'll catch you later.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

So Much to Do

and so little time. The day has come when my dad gets here. We have been remodeling my MIL's house for the past couple of months getting it ready for him to move here (she passed away this past Summer). Well that day has arrived. He gets in around that house isn't completely ready but it is liveable, new bathroom, updated kitchen, fresh paint all around and a new front on the fireplace. We will be leaving here shortly to go put some final touches on it and move furniture around. It is fully furnished as he is just flying here with his personal clothes. He sold his car and furniture and most of his belongings. I'm sure this was a hard thing for a 73 year old man to do giving up all his personal items, but this is a fresh start for him and that is how he is seeing it. So my brother and I are very glad he will be close by.

So along with getting the house ready for dad, I have a craft show I'm not ready and a gem and mineral show this weekend. At least at the gem and mineral show I demonstrate and can work on making things as well as selling. I will be selling my book at both of them so I'll let you know which venue was better. I usually do well at gem and mineral shows since the book is right up their alley... you know how to make a gem tree, but I have high hopes that the folks at the craft show will want to make their own tree and will buy the book.

Okay, that's all I have time for today. Pictures of the finished house and my show will be posted soon. Have a good day.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Free Gift, Yes no kidding

This is the week for my November Giveaway and I'm beginning to wonder if we as a society have become so jaded that we can't really see a true gift when it is offered. My giveaway is part thank you and part marketing, obviously it has to be for me to invest this much money and time into making the items to send out, but I'm not getting the response I expected.

This giveaway is directed at my Facebook Fans, you are all winners. Yep, no drawing, all of you will receive a gift in the mail. What do you need to do, just send me an e-mail via Facebook with your home address so that I can send your gift. That's it, so easy, so just do it. I will not be spamming your e-mail or sending junk mail to your home after this giveaway. Oh, and I need that email no later than next Sunday, November 15th at 11:30 pm PST.

If you are reading my blog for the first time and are wondering "How do I get in on this?", simple become a my Fan on Facebook, send me that important e-mail with your home address or mailing address and wait for your gift to arrive.

This sounds so great even I want in on it. Oh wait, I am in on it. Maybe I don't want everyone to participate and I can keep all the cool items I've created. Nah, it really is better to give than receive and I'm feeling generous.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Thought Provoking

I don't usually write thought provoking blogs, but my husband and I were watching TV tonight and a show about 2012 was on. Have I been living in the dark or what? I had no idea about the Mayan and Nostradamus ideas about 2012 and other theories or maybe I had just put it out of my mind as I don't really believe in these things. I don't know, but it did get me thinking about if the world were going to come to an end, would I want to know about it. Did I really care of the Governments of all Nations have been planning their survival but not the rest of us? The predictions are for either mass destruction or a transformation of our world. Isn't it one in the same? Now, there is a new disaster movie about December 21, 2012 to be released this week. There are so many sites out here on the internet talking about this date and what it means, so if you want to find out more information all you need to do is search.  I think I would rather be in the dark, live my life to the fullest now and not worry about the future, but I probably will see the movie...for entertainment purposes of course.

November Giveaway - Hurry Time Sensitive

Last month my giveaway was for a pair of my handmade charm earrings and this month it will be a surprise to my Facebook Fans. One of the options for my giveaway last month was to become a Fan of mine on FB, so now it pays to be a Fan. If you are one of my Fans on Facebook or Fan me now then you are a winner. Send me your home address via Facebook e-mail and you will receive something in the mail. I will mail worldwide, so if you are outside of the US, please feel free to become a Fan and send me that address. I promise I will not start sending your random junk mail....I can't afford that.  For those that know me, I'm very crafty. I make jewelry, paint and create gem trees, so you never know what will arrive at your door. Not all gifts will be the same.

Once you receive your gift in the mail, I would appreciate either a comment here or on my Facebook page about what you received and because this is part marketing and part thanks for being a Fan, you will receive a couple of business cards to pass out to a friend and tell them how wonderful I am....ha ha.  You know it will be good if I've asked you to do that. I do have an end date for this giveaway and it will be Sunday, November 15th, 11:30 pm PST so you don't have much time.


Thanks for being my Fan. Oh, my Facebook info is a little lower on the right hand side of this blog.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Entrecard Top Droppers

Top Entrecard droppers this month. Here is the list and links for my friends and followers to check out their sites. These folks visit my site regularly if not daily. Thanks bunches.

Laane Loves (link broken)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hoop Charm Earring Tutorial

As promised I have posted my tutorial for the hoop earring that was my giveaway earlier this month on my Craft How To's site HERE. Just scroll down on the page a bit and check it out. I would love link backs.

Have fun with the Trick or Treaters tonight.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Guest Blog on A Different Shade of Me

I was asked by Christina of A Different Shade of Me to do a guest blog spot and for the life of me I couldn't think of a thing to write about. Kind of unusual for me. Christina was the winner for the Hoop Earring giveaway earlier this month and loved them so much I decided to write a tutorial, so that is what she blogged about. I have her blog HERE with my tutorial as featured. I will be posting the tutorial on my Craft How Tos site this weekend.

Here is a picture of the finished earrings....oh yeah and a lot of charms.. LOL.

Have a great Halloween!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sugar Free Pumpkin Cheesecake

Now that the holidays are approaching I thought I would share a recipe with you that I make each holiday season. It is perfect as you get that pumpkin and spice that you want but without all the sugar. Be careful though as it still contains all the fat. This is perfect for those on the Adkins Diet or a low carb diet. The top on mine is a little dark and wrinkly as I left the oven door closed after I turned it off, but I'm sure it will taste just fine.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

1/2 cup of Walnuts (I used mixed nuts chopped or you can leave the nuts out and have a crustless cake)

Cheesecake Filling:
3 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese at room temp
1 cup Splenda
1 tesp powdered white stevia (if you don't have this it is fine it just won't be a sweet)
1 tesp ground cinnamon
1/8 tesp ground ginger
1/8 tesp gound cardamom
1/8 tesp ground nutmeg
1/8 tesp ground cloves
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 tesp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup solid-packed pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9 inch springform pan with nonstick vegetable spray.

To make the crust, place the nuts in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade (or a blender) and pulse until finely chopped. Press the nuts on the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and cool completely before adding the filling.

To make the filling, place the cream cheese, Splenda and stevia in the mixing bowl and mix with electric mixer for 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg and cloves and blend well. On medium speed, add the whipping cream and vanilla and beat for 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Pour the batter into the parepared pan. Place the pan in a larger pan and put in the oven. Pour enough water into the larger pan to come halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan. Bake for 60 minutes.

Turn off the oven and open the door slightly. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour. Remove the cheesecake from the oven, cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

To serve, take out of the refrigeraterator to warm up a bit (usually 15 to 30 minutes). I usually add whipped cream lightly sweetened with Splenda on top of each serving.

Makes 12 servings with 6 g carbs, 281 calories, 7 g protein, 26 g fat, 1 g dietary fiber, 188 mg sodium, 122 mg cholesterol.

This recipe is from the Ultimate Low Carb Diet Cookbook.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Featured Artist - Karen of Winding Threads

Karen, another Creative Blogger friend has some wonderful bags that you might like. Okay, I just wanted to drool myself. If you have one of the small mini notebook computers, Karen makes a very cute computer bag, it's the yellow with the roses. Don't anyone buy it because I may have to myself.

Karen has a great blog that you can checkout HERE or I would highly recommend heading over to her Etsy shop HERE. I believe that Karen's love of fabric probably is very similar to my love of gemstones and beads. We are addicted and probably need help.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

New Social Networking Site for Crafters

As if I didn't have enough to do, I started a new social networking site for crafters. The point is to share ideas, tutorials and network with other crafters. I even added a marketplace so that E-bay, Etsy, Amazon and Yahoo sellers can show and sell their work for free. The marketplace just links to their existing site. No rules except that you can not post any porn or offense material. I welcome others who would like to join me.

Here is the link:

As a bonus, I will be posting tutorials on the craft site vs. here, but never fear, I will link to them so you can still enjoy without having to check out two places, but if you are only interested in tutorials and instructions, that would be the place to check first.

The first tutorial I posted is for the Leather Fringe necklace that I posted here in August that was so popular. As I develop more tutorials and get permission for reprinting some from other authors, they will be posted.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Featured Artist - Annette Piper

Last week I posted about another Creative Blogger friend and this week it is Annette Piper. Annette is a qualified gemologist and lives in Sydney. Her work is stunning as you can see from the picture of the earring. I left a comment on Annette's blog about the beautiful stones she uses and how I tend to hourd mine and haven't felt the need to share them with my customers yet...LOL. My husband thinks differently and so does the checkbook. I guess I'll have to get busy.  Here is a little bit more about Annette.

Gemstones - I gaze into their depths and see incredible patterns and miniature worlds. I invite you into my world where you can behold a stunning array of gems. Share my fascination in the millenia-long journey these stones have taken to be what they are today and see that what mother nature has created for our use and pleasure.

Working in the Sydney jewelry trade since 1982, I qualified as a gemologist in 1986. Constantly feeling the pull of the wonderful natural stones around me, in 2002 I began making my own creations and designing how I saw jewelry could be - elegant, simple and timeless.

Constantly searching for the new, the unusual and the different, from all over the world, I endeavor to create jewelry that will be unique yet still very affordable.

I now work from my home studio where there are magnificent views over the surrounding countryside and of the wide blue Australian sky.

As a mother to three very active children and wife to an aviator/farmer, I also share my surroundings with two lazy cats a working dog and a few hundred cows.
I invite you to visit Annette's blog and web site so that you can see her beautiful jewelry for yourself.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Remodel is Coming Along

How many times can I blog about the remodel? Probably a lot as after this one is finished at my mother in laws  then we will start planning ours. I'm just glad that we aren't living here through all this mess.

Came over to the MIL's house today to wait on the kitchen counter top installer to measure so that they can get it ordered and found that our general contractor had started putting up the tile in the bathroom around the tub. It's coming along, even if I think it is going slowly.

The estate sale is this weekend so I'm hoping that a lot of this stuff will be gone and we can dig our way to the fireplace to that he can get started on that when he has free time. I would take some updated pictures, but from the mess in here, you probably wouldn't get a good feel for what has been accomplished. Next time I'll post some.

Have a good day.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Crochet White Flower Necklace

I was searching for something a little different to share with you today and fell in love with this necklace. Creative Yarn has the tutorial HERE if you are willing to give it a try. I think it would be fun to try in a black with red flower for the holidays.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Home Again

Back home from the beach and now the fun work begins of cleaning the darn thing. It is amazing how much sand can get into everything even when you are careful. I found sand in a shoe that I didn't even wear... how can that be?  So, it is off to the trailer today and tomorrow with the mondo vacuum cleaner to get in all the small crevices, mop up all wet places that turned to sandy mud and Simple Green to wipe everything down. I think I'll put my husband to work washing the outside before it gets put away for the Winter.

We really did enjoy our short overnight stay at the beach with the nephew. I told my bother to pack extra clothes and warm items since it gets cold there at night. He was able to get every thing wet except for one pair of sweat pant and a sweat shirt, so it all when into the washer when we got home. You can tell an 11 yo not to get wet, but it really won't work especially when you have a dog that wants to play in the water also. His excuse before we came home for getting wet was that a big wave hit him from behind...hummm I think I've heard that one before. At least the dog knew when to get out before that big wave hit.

Everyone have a great Sunday, get lots of rest and spend time with family if you can.    -  dana

Friday, October 09, 2009

And The Winner Is....... has chosen my winner for the giveaway and it is Zafiro80. I've contacted her to get the information on whether she wants sterling silver or 14 kt gold filled and what color charms she would like. My next giveaway  I have planned is for the first week of November, so be sure to stayed tuned.

In other news, we decided to pull the trailer out of the beach property this weekend so now I'm down here using my Sprint broadband card with only 10 - 0% connectivity. Not too many cell towers at the beach I guess. I'm used to having several windows open at once and multi-tasking through my blogs and twitter and facebook, but down here I can only do one thing at a time and then it is sooo slow so this post will be short and sweet. Here is a little picture of the nephew, husband and dogs at the beach...thank heaven it was a nice day.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Creative Bloggers Featured Artist

I just joined a new group called Creative Bloggers. The purpose of this group is to support and network with other bloggers. This weeks featured blogger is Michelle Harvey from Michabella Creations. Michelle creates contemporary jewelry that is very fashion forward. Her work was recently chosen by Keith Lissner for his runway show during Boston's Fashion Week. Here is one of my favorite earrings of Michelle's that Keith choose for his show.

You can also check out Michelle's web site HERE for some great affordable jewelry.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Even More info on Earring Giveaway

I forgot to mention in my last post that I will ship these earrings anywhere, Europe, Australia, etc., so please feel free to enter. If you are unsure, send me a message.

Don't forget the rules about leaving me a comment about how you are following me to get entered. I love my fans and followers and this is just the start of great giveaways that I have planned for the remainder of this year, so don't miss out.

In other news, we are in the midst of remodeling my mother in laws bathroom and having the whole house painted and kitchen upgraded. Unless you have ever completed a project like this you have no idea of the headaches involved. I think we have changed our minds on the kitchen counter top 11 times and now we are back to our original idea of a solid surface counter top. We are leaving the nice Cherry wood cabinets, will replace the hardware, fix the cracks in the walls and paint and have already purchased a new stove and refrigerator to finish it out. In the bathroom, we are totally gutting it. No more green tub, sink or toilet. The rest of the house will be painted, but the fireplace will get a new marble surround.
We didn't want to go over the top with granite and high end appliances as we are planning on selling in the next year, but until then we will move my dad in to live for a bit until the market recovers. Here are some pictures of the before. I'll post after pics when it is completed.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Blog Giveaway ... Details

I mentioned on my Facebook page that a giveaway was coming, so this is it. Giveaway will be all about following and I have several options for you to choose from.

The giveaway will be for a pair of hoop sterling silver or 14 kt gf hand formed charm earrings with 5 pair of charms to interchange (sample is pictured) to one lucky winner. You do not have to purchase anything to win, but I do have rules. Here they are.

1. Follow my blog via Google - 1 entry
2. Follow my blog via Facebook Networked Blogs - 1 entry
3. Become a Fan on Facebook - 1 entry
4. Follow me on Twitter - 1 entry
5. Subscribe to my RSS feed - 1 entry
6. Blog about my giveaway on your blog and link back - 1 entry

Leave a comment here on my blog...yes I love comments and let me know how you are following me. If you are already following me, let me know that too. If you are doing all of them, then you get 6 entries into the drawing. Anonymous entries will not win as I do need to know who you are to get the prize to you. Giveaway will end at 11:00 pm on October 8th and will be announced by 8:00 am PST on October 9th. will be used to pick the winner.

Good luck and be sure to check out my 1000 Markets and ArtFire Studio while you are searching around. All links are provided on the right.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Featured Artist - Little Laura's Sweets

You know I usually feature crafters and artists, but isn't baking a craft or art form? If it isn't it should be. I must be craving something bad for me as I saw these wonderful sweet things and just drooled. I think the chocolate chip brownies are to die for. You can check out Laura's shop on 1000 Markets HERE. Here is a little bit more about Laura.

"I love to bake; I have always loved to bake. I guess growing up with a Danish grandmother was not an accident. There was always something delicious coming out of the oven and when I would get to help it brought me pure joy! It still does. It was then no surprise to anyone that I started working in kitchens. I loved working in sauté or the grill, but I always drawn to the Pastry Kitchen, one day I never left it. That was 15 years ago."

"2 years ago a friend asked me to make her wedding cake, I did and I have never looked back, I left the kitchen and started little laura's sweets. As the seasons change, so will the products since I try to use the best seasonal, organic and local ingredients available."

"If there is something you crave and don't see it, let me know, I will be happy to indulge your craving. -laura"

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pink Jello Salad

On Sunday we celebrated our daughter and grandsons birthday with a steak and rib cook out. It was one of our good weather days so cooking out was a wonderful option. To go along with that our daughter and family are on the Adkins diet so it was a high protein meal. Lots of veggies and meat, but the special treat was this pink jello salad. My family has made this salad/dessert for years and I remember it at family functions when I was small. If you are carb conscience this maybe a good dessert for you.

16 oz. Cottage Cheese
1 container Cool Whip thawed
1 can fruit cocktail
1 large package sugar free jello in you flavor choice, but I love the raspberry

Mix the fruit with the jello then add the cottage cheese. After this is mixed then fold in the cool whip. Chill for a couple of hours.

Enjoy and I'll be back tomorrow with a new featured artist.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Zipper Earring Tutorial

I you follow fashion and the jewelry fashion particularly then you have seen zipper necklaces, zipper bracelets and now zipper earrings. Chelsey over at Silverbug Studios has this great idea for making your own zipper earrings.

In other news, I haven't been making any jewelry for my shops lately as I have been concentrating on making gem trees and selling my book. I did have to take out my salon consignments as they were moving this past weekend to a new location. I need to go visit them in the next week to see if they have room for jewelry or a jewelry case. I have a couple of cases at the antique mall in our booth that I could take out and use if they have the floor space. I do have some jewelry repairs for a friend to finish up so I'll probably work on that tomorrow.

I hope everyone had a good Monday and I'll start posting more regularly, but if you really miss me you can check out one of my other blogs on gem trees or crafty news. See links at the side.


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