Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all those who celebrate this holiday, a happy one!

Stephanie, Michael, and
Ginny, Mocha, Bella




Monday, December 13, 2010

Save the date...


I received a custom order yesterday for my double initial stamped charm necklace.

However, the customer requested a date on the larger round charm.

Since I use fairly small metal blanks, I was concerned that the date
wouldn't fit, but the customer was happy with how
it came out and so was I! :-)

What do you think?

Happy Creating!
~stephanie~

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Unexpected project...mini baby scrapbook!


The above mosaic is a mini chipboard scrapbook I made last week for my mom
to give as a gift to a friend.

Normally my sister would have made this and she is still working on one herself
for the same baby, but she's been super busy as her job is winding down
and she's even been working weekends to finish
out some necessary projects and help them
organize for the changeover.

She'll be spending a lot of time searching for a new job in the coming weeks,
so despite her love of her scrapbooking hobby, she hasn't and won't
have as much time to devote to it for a little while.

So I decided to try my hand at a project like this.

My sister always tells me about her ideas and she has made
me a Christmas mini chipboard scrapbook in the past, so
using that as inspiration and watching a couple of short youtube videos about
mini books, I felt I was ready to go.

I started last Sunday and finished last Wednesday.
I was in a time crunch as I wanted my mom to receive the baby book
no later than this past Monday and it had to be shipped to her
in Northern California.

I did enjoy making the baby book and was surprised that it
came together as quickly and as well as it did (if I do say so myself).

1. I used recycled cardboard as my chipboard base. I cut it into 5 x 5 squares
and also tinier squares for "in between" pages. I chose the number of pages
based on how much I got out of 2 pieces of cardboard.

2. I used purple glue stick, tacky glue, and glue dots for the most part as my
adhesives. Mainly because my rolling glue glider broke and so I was
stuck...quite literally...with sticky glues.

3. Since my scrapbooking supplies were only minimally organized, I just
had to use what I had on hand. In this case, a baby scrapbooking kit
might have worked better, as it would have been easier to
come up with themes, color matches, coordinating embellishments, etc.
and would have saved a of time.

4. I was trying to create this without spending any additional money. I had plenty
of supplies, so it was my own fault if I had to spend time searching for what
to use in my messy craft room.

5. My craft room got incredibly messy/dirty during this project.
Bits of paper on the floor, glue stick everywhere, etc. and
because of the time crunch, I had only a tiny amount of time to pick up after
myself...something I'm not very good at anyway when I'm crafting.

So what I learned or remembered while creating the scrapbook is
the real reason I left the scrapbooking (mostly) up to my sister.
It takes a lot of time!

I haven't made a lot of time for personal scrapbooking for about a year now.
With my focus being on jewelry, and because I have 5 online shops
to focus on creating inventory for, I don't really have the time or
a large enough surface area for working scrapbooking,
which takes up a huge amount of space!

To be near my paper cutter and to have even a small amount of surface
space to lay out the pages, I was working on a corner of my standing work table.

And when this corner got messy, things spilled out onto extra stools I brought into
the room (at the expense of much needed floor space to move around) and
piled up a bit too high and the piles are now in danger of falling over!
So my craft room is in a state of terrible disorder and chaos -
not so unusual - but a bit worse than usual.

And despite having learned
these lessons, I am now currently working
on a new mini chipboard scrapbook,
which is a late birthday gift. And I started
it Sunday night and need to ship it out tomorrow.
So really I should stop this post - written while I'm eating
lunch - and get back to work!;-)

Let me know what you think of my design and/or design process,
and if you are a scrapbooker, I welcome any tips and tricks!

Happy Creating!

~stephanie~

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Harry Potter 7



The photo above shows my "uniform" for both showings of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 that I attended.

My t-shirt is from Tee Fury, my necklace from Whskr, and my scarf was handknitted by me years ago...right after the first movie was released.

It really wasn't cold enough for the scarf, but cool enough I could get away with it, at least during the walk to the theater. ;-)

I also made this one-of-a-kind Golden Snitch ring to wear.

The idea came to me the day before I saw the movie for the first time.

I'd like to find different wings and since I can not find more of the gold knobby cord end covers I used in this design, I'll have to search for a different type of gold ball part of the Snitch.

But for myself, I really love this ring and it will now be added to my Harry Potter jewelry collection and will of course be worn when I see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

That will be a bittersweet time for me.

I am a huge fan of the Harry Potter books and have not always been a fan of the movies made based on those books, but I have always looked forward to seeing the movies since they are part of the phenomenon. Thankfully I did really enjoy this movie and so I will look forward to seeing part 2. And yet, I will also be sad that the series really is now at an end.

Though perhaps JK Rowling will write more about Harry and his world.

One can only hope! ;-)

Happy Creating!

~stephanie~

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Christmas

I'm usually too disorganized to even think about filling my shops with holiday,
specifically, Christmas designs...

but surprisingly, though still disorganized, I've managed to create
and list several in both the Boutique Kismet Etsy and Artfire shops.

Here is a mosaic showing the currently listed designs.


With hopefully many more to come!

Happy Holidays!

and

Happy Creating!

~stephanie~

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The stars in the sky...

my eyes have always looked to the stars
and my mind has always been out in the cosmos,
searching for answers to the why and how.

We will never know the why I suppose,
and only have some of the answers to the how.
But it's the curiosity that is most important.

Lately my eyes and mind have become focused
on smaller things.
And I miss daydreaming about star stuff
and the far reaches of space.

I made lots of solar systems when I was young...
out of whatever I could find.
And I dreamed of becoming an astronomer.
The depths of the ocean intrigued me too,
so for a brief time I contemplated marine biology,
and digging in the depths of the earth as a
paleontologist...
perhaps I have always like deep things.

But the stars always draw me back to them.

We are all made of star stuff.
We coalesce briefly into the beings that we are
to stand on this planet in this star system in this
universe...
to be able to observe all that surrounds us,
whether we see it or hear it or touch it,
and to wonder at it all,
before we become one with it again.

Because I could not become the
theoretical astrophysicist I wanted to be as a
college student, I let myself wander
other paths and set my love of astronomy as
a hobby in my life.
But it will always be what intrigues me the most,
what frightens me the most,
what creates the most awe and creativity in me...
so I seek my inspiration now from all
the stars in the sky...
and all that surrounds them!

Happy creating!
~stephanie~

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Vitamin D

As I was getting ready to write this post, I kept remembering a band I used to like in the 80s and could have sworn the band name was Vitamin D.

But of course it wasn't...they were Vitamin Z! :-)

Burning Flame


That was one of my favorite songs by them. The link takes you to the YouTube video for it.

So recently I was diagnosed with a major Vitamin D deficiency.
I live in Arizona, so I thought it was really strange diagnosis.
But we had a brutal (high temps) and long summer,
and I mostly spent it inside the house with the A/C on.
And I wore lotion with an SPF 15, so I guess even when I was outside with
my three dogs I wasn't soaking in the rays.

I had also limited my consumption of egg yolks and fish. Not good!

I was actually at the doctor for a yearly check-up,
but described some of my worrisome symptoms to her, so she decided to
do some blood work. Well I guess my deficiency is so bad,
I needed a prescription for 50,000 IU a week for at least 8 weeks.
I started my first dose this past Tuesday.

I've learned from my tweets on Twitter and some status update comments
on Facebook that I'm not alone in this deficiency and
of course there is an article on vitamin D in the latest Oprah magazine.
I have the magazine but didn't read the article.

Seems like odd timing (coincidence) with all media coverage,
but I'm glad I found out what was causing
my symptoms so I could start treatment.
At least I hope this deficiency was what was causing my symptoms,
and I hope that starting the treatment now and continuing
it as instructed by my doctor will get my health back on track.

My symptoms were/are chronic fatigue, muscle weakness,
joint and muscle pain, and depression.
I should say more frequent depression.
I've battled anxiety and depression for about 18 years,
but I mostly had them under control and could function among people.
However, the chronic depression I was falling into, led to episodes of anxiety,
which of course added to the other symptoms,
had me worried about going out of the house anywhere on my own.

So I basically stayed home and thanks to Twitter and Facebook and the creating for my
online shops, I was interacting with the world, and putting on a good face.
I knew I was lucky to have what health I did and also lucky enough
that when I wasn't feeling well, I had the luxury to stay home and
work, rather than having to go outside of the house to a job.

I had my really good days, but those were usually followed by days
when I'd feel like I had the flu or a cold or a major allergy attack,
and all my energy would be zapped.
I'd have my good moments, but then I'd feel like
I just couldn't make a certain muscle move the way it should, and
then I would get frustrated and worried that I wouldn't be able
to function the way I needed to.

I'm not seeing any marked improvement three days into my first mega dose
of the vitamin. In actuality I feel a bit worse. Lots and lots of joint pain.
But I hope it's a case of feeling worse in order to feel better
and that I have not permanently damaged my health with this deficiency.

It seemed to me the symptoms had worsened within the last couple of months, so hopefully
the symptoms can be reversed in that same amount of time.
I know this is overly optimistic and unrealistic, but all we have is hope.

I'm taking in more sun when I'm out with my dogs...no SPF lotion,
so I hope that helps also.

Because of how I've been feeling lately...which is easy enough
to mask with my online communication...
I haven't really known where my business was going
or been focused on the future of it. I have had no desire to sign up for
craft shows and have concentrated mostly on doll jewelry since
I've had a very nice customer who frequently requests custom doll jewelry sets.

And speaking of fatigue. I should be asleep now. So off I go.

Tomorrow our dog Mocha has to go in for some simple surgery to remove a couple of growths, but the surgery is minor and she will go in early in the morning and we'll pick her up in the evening. I'll be glad to have the distraction of working on crafts tomorrow! And hopefully will
feel well enough to work long and hard and get some exciting new things in the shops
and stop feeling sorry for myself. ;-)

So that's been life lately.

Thanks for reading!

Happy creating!
~stephanie~



Saturday, October 2, 2010

Hurry, hurry...and slow down!

I have been creating a lot of doll jewelry lately.
Most of it custom requests.
Which is lovely!
Except for when I have to search through thousands of beads...
some very tiny...to find just what I want/need for a
design! ;-)

So at some point I'd like to do a major bead organization...
but I am too busy for this.

Yet I feel like I could be busier and more efficiently productive if I took the time
to do this organization.

So this makes me feel like I should hurry, hurry through my
creating (which, as we all know is good in theory and difficult in practice)
and slow down in order to spend the necessary time to organize the beads!

So one day I will hurry, hurry...and slow down for the project! ;-)

Did any of that make sense? lol

Happy creating!
~stephanie~

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Coming soon: Harry Potter 7

I am a huge Harry Potter fan! ;-)

The first film installment of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be in theaters
on November 19, 2010!

I'm really looking forward to it based on the trailers and of course if they stay true
to JK Rowlings' story, it will be awesome!


I purchased this pendant recently from Marjorie Dawson of Whskr Art Dolls.
I plan to wear it when I go see the movie!
(And wear it plenty of times before now and then.)

She also included a very lovely free gift necklace with my purchase!


Happy Creating!
~stephanie~

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Have you heard? Artfire Group Deal

Have you heard about the Artfire Group Deal offer?

http://www.artfire.com/groupdeal

They are offering 50,000 Pro user accounts for ONLY $5.95.

They need at least 20,000 people to sign up for this deal and it doesn't matter if your current account is only a basic free account, you can still sign your name to potentially quality for the
Group Deal special discounted rate!

I have two Artfire shops:

whatsleftover.artfire.com

kismet1990.artfire.com

and am thinking of opening up a third for my doll jewelry!

I'm already signed up both my shops for the Group Deal and I think you should sign up too!

The best thing about Artfire? No final value fees!!
List and sell as much as you like for the one low monthly fee - currently $15.95/mo.

Can you imagine the awesome deal this will be at ONLY $5.95/mo.!

By blogging about this deal I am trying to enter myself in this contest for a table top photo studio. So if you want a chance to enter this giveaway, blog about the Artfire Group Deal too!

Happy Creating!
~stephanie~

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How to disappear...

My blog has been terribly lonely lately. ;-)

My niece no longer sends me photos of her outfits, so I have had no Maylani Monday posts.

And I have paused work on my cross stitch, so no updates to show you there.

I had a giveaway on my Facebook page recently, but no new giveaway in the works.

I've been making new items and doing other projects, but have not found the time or
take the proper photos to blog about their progress, so just have a few finished item photos to share.


New upcycled/recycled plastic necklaces coming to the shop soon will look similar to this one:

Read Between the Lines Necklace

The title of this blog post comes from the title of a book that I saw in a recent email from the
Sony Reader Store.

How to Disappear
by Frank M. Ahearn and Eileen C. Horan


I haven't read it, but it sounds intriguing!

I don't have an ebook reader, although a Kindle is likely going to go on my Christmas list...
so I will see if the library has a copy of this book so I can take a peak.

Hopefully I'll have more interesting blog updates soon!

Happy Creating!
~stephanie~

Friday, August 27, 2010

Art as inspiration...

New artwork I've hung up in my craft room.

The artwork is by one of my favorite artists...my friend Lorrie
of Illusio Creative (Etsy Shop)
and www.illusiocreative.co.uk.

My photos do not do Lorrie's artwork justice, but I wanted to show how I framed and displayed the new artwork. The top photo is taken with flash (eek!) and the bottom just with natural light, but lots of reflection from the window.

These two outer ACEOs are part of Lorrie's Sea Theme series

One the left is Sea Theme I - Aceo Print
On the right is Sea Theme II - Aceo Print

The middle print is Sea Life, not currently available in her Etsy shop.

I've backed all the prints with photo real ocean scrapbooking paper.
The openings in the frames are sized at 3.5" x 3.5", so I needed this backing, but I hope it compliments the prints well.

I can view this print anytime by turning my head to the right when I am at the computer
and it's always visible when I'm taking product photos.

I am not sure this will be the permanent location for the framed art.
I'm worried that the color on the prints will fade from being near the window.
But for now, I will enjoy my wonderful new artwork display.

Thank you Lorrie!


Happy Creating!

~stephanie~

ACEO introduction...


ACEOs are finally in the Etsy shop.

Part of the profit from these sales goes to help support House of Imagination.

I really do need to work on my photography skills...or lack there of. ;-)

Happy Creating!

~stephanie~

Thursday, August 12, 2010

We have a winner!

Giveaway winner...according to Random.org is #4!

@whskr

has won the necklace!




Happy Creating!

~stephanie~

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Imagination Giveaway and ACEOs...

Giveaway time...again! :-)

I am a member of Etsy #TeamImagination and a fan of the dream of Alex and Gabi Lamont's House of Imagination!
To bring attention to their wonderful project and more fans to members of #teamimagination
(team members and their shop links are listed on the right-hand side of my blog)
I'm offering this handmade by me necklace as a giveaway prize!

Prize:
Antiqued copper and reversible necklace! With lovely Czech glass flower beads.
The rings have raised flowers on one side and on the other etched leaves!
Necklace measures approx. 26 1/2" long and has a stamped flower design toggle closure.

The giveaway begins today August 3, 2010 and will run until Tuesday August 10, 2010.
On Wednesday, August 11, I will choose a winner via Random.org from the entries.
Since I need numbered entries to use Random.org, I will choose the winner ONLY from the comments below.

Choose any of the 5 ways listed below to enter or use all 5!
You can leave up to 5 comments and please leave your email, twitter @ name,
or shop link in the comment so I can contact you as easily as possible if you are the winner!

To enter the giveaway:
1) Go to any of the shops listed as members of Team Imagination on my blog
and tell me your favorite item from that shop in a comment.

2) Become a follower of my blog (or if you are already a blog follower),
leave me a comment mentioning this.

3) Become a blog follower of the House of Imagination blog and come back here and
leave me a comment that you followed them.

4) Become a Facebook fan of House of Imagination and come back here and
leave me a comment that you did so.

5) Become a Facebook fan of my Boutique Kismet and come back here and
leave me a comment that you did so.


*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*


Also here is a sneak peak of some of the ACEOs
I will be selling to help benefit the House of Imagination project in my Etsy shop and
also on the House of Imagination
www.willcreate4adollar.com website

I have never made ACEOs before and although I do sketch,
I chose scrapbooking and altered art and some felt art
for my ACEO contributions for House of Imagination.
Maybe another time I'll do some sketches. ;-)
Let me know what you think!


Alex and Gabi also just recently unveiled another project they are working on!
This one is being featured on Kickstarter
as

Yummy, Little, Pretty Things All Artisan Natural
Organic 100% Handmade Bakehouse


Helping them fun this project also gets you recipes for some very yummy looking
organic homemade treats!


Happy Creating!
~stephanie~

Friday, July 30, 2010

It's a Wrap!

My friend sent me a couple of hematite stones awhile ago
and asked if I could make some rings for her.
She knew I'd done some simple wire wrapped rings
and she likes to gives me challenges, which I appreciate. ;-)
She also didn't give me a deadline, which was good,
because it took me awhile just to finish this first one.

However, I'm actually quite proud of the finished product.
And my friend loves it from the photos she's seen,
so as long as it also fits her when it arrives
and wears well, it will be an absolute win!

Here are some of my progress photos.
All of the wrapping came together by accident.
It's all done with sterling silver wire, 22g.
And it's all done in three parts, as you will see.

The top of the wrapped stone.
(This was about the 20th attempt. And the waves were
because I had to make it hug the stone a bit closer.)

The original base added yesterday. Measured a size 10,
which I thought was the right size, but turned out to be much too big.



So I coiled the wire around the ring base and as well as making it a smaller size -
now an 8.5. An added bonus was that it also strengthened the ring
and is a better counterpoint for the rather heavy stone.

Margaret's Ring

Let me know what you think?
Should I continue with my wire wrapping experiments? ;-)

Thank you to
my friend Jodi of Jewels-by-Jules
and
my friend Danielle of Don't Eat Beads
for
inspiring and encouraging my wire wrapping!

Happy Creating!
~stephanie~

Monday, July 26, 2010

Maylani Monday - Cute!






My niece Stephanie sent me some new pics of her in cute outfits!
I chose this one to re-introduce Maylani Mondays on my blog.

She's wearing a vintage Esprit dress bought at the thrift store, skinny belt, and
$2.00 Soda plaid pointy toe flats.
I know the flats cost $2.00 because I bought them here in Tucson at Factory-2-U (now closed, boo!) and sent them to Stephanie because they were too big for me - size 5.5 and I normally wear a 5.

She looks so comfy and cute, and yet professional at the same time.
She just needs a cute little cardigan to make this an awesome work place outfit.

Doesn't she look adorable?

Happy creating!
~stephanie~

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Leave an impression...


I bought some beginner metal stamping supplies last week with the idea
to add some initial drops to a few designs I'm working on.

My friend Beth of besu
(besu.etsy.com, her shop of awesomely cute handmade bags, buttons and rings)
requested an initial necklace
and the above design was what I came up with
for her and is now a design I'm offering in my shop.
(Personalized for the buyer of course.)

Let me know what you think?

Happy Creating!
~stephanie~


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Pink and Green...

This lovely Etsy treasury was created - for me - by my friend Vicki!

Isn't it lovely?

I always wish I had more time to spend with my friends, like Vicki and Alex,
who came to visit with me yesterday and are always
encouraging, honest, helpful, and just plain fun to be around!

Thanks again for reminding me of the joys of pink and green!
You are a treasure. :-)

Vicki makes colorful and amazing recycled jewelry as wearable art!
Visit her newly redesigned website here:

www.wearwolfs.com

Alex is the Alex Keller of jewelry recycled by alexkeller!
Remember the Elf Queen necklace I featured on my blog. Yes, she is the designer!

Happy Creating!
~stephanie~

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Shimmer and Shine...and enter a Giveaway!

Team Imagination is having a giveaway!!

Visit the Team Imagination/House of Imagination blog to see all the awesome and easy ways you can enter!!

Here is what the winner gets:
Pure Vegan Mineral Eyeshadow

Gonna Get Ya Cheetah Edition, full set as shown!

Happy Creating!
~stephanie~

Friday, July 2, 2010

Red, White, & Blue...

new earrings in my shop...

if you are a fan of Smallville, these were inspired by the pair Chloe
was wearing when she attended senior prom. ;-)

Happy 4th of July holiday to us in the U.S.
Have a safe and enjoyable weekend!

Happy Creating!
~stephanie~