Monday, March 22, 2010

Uncovering new areas of the yard - Garden clean up

New area as a whole

This is my first Spring living here and there are many unique areas of the yard. I'm spending time each day raking and uncovering areas that haven't been raked in years. Here's my new favorite little rock and tree outcrop.

Uncovering new little places

As I was cleaning up the layers of dead leaves I uncovered a little rock edge surrounding the outcrop. I can't wait to rake the inside of the area and see what grows there, perhaps add some nice shade plants.

Natural rock garden

Here's a close up of the "natural rock garden". Many types of moss and lichen add beauty and history to the rock wall. One thing I noticed when I moved to the North East (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island area) were the natural-looking rock walls that have been built years ago, climbing the hills, almost randomly in the forests. It's nice to have some of my own little ones in my backyard.

The boys and Jeb the dog

And this is what the boys do to keep busy while we work outside. Great-Grandpa-Pep hooked up their Jeep Power Wheels with a really powerful battery. They can even pop some little wheelies! We had to weigh down the front with some sand bags. They love it and can roll over all the bumps and hills in the yard.

Monday, March 15, 2010

My Work Space / Good and Bad Photos for Etsy

Here is my humble little work area, a small desk in the house. Simply organized, it works great for me!
Materials kept in simple and inexpensive plastic boxes, all organized. Finished products in protective bags. Pliers right at hand.

My little workspace

After experimenting with the best place in my house for taking photos of jewelry, it's right here at the top of my couch by the window. I use textured scrapbooking paper from Michael's for the background. My macro setting doesn't capture the shine of the jewels so I have to use Manual focus which eats up my camera batteries like crazy.

My photo place

Here are the shots made with this set up:

Photo example

Photo example

Here is my example of a BAD photo. It has been cloudy for days and it turned out so blurry. I have 6 more jewelry pieces to photograph and I'm waiting for the sun.

I tried to use my white balance feature and this is what happened... a pink background! I have a lot to learn about white balance!

What do you struggle with while taking photos for Etsy?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday Etsy Shop Feature

I came across the cutest Etsy shop through Flickr, Mitsel8. She makes "Knobnets", handpainted knob magnets, and other cute decor, but let her photos do the talking! They are so bright and colorful!

Leslie's hand painted decor is fun and whimsical! They are all varnished to a smooth and glassy finish and are non-toxic and lead free. They would look beautiful in a children's room or on your fridge. Oh, and the Glitter Chicks are perfect for upcoming Easter!

Click on any of the above links to visit her shop!

Friday, February 26, 2010

New at Etsy, Made This Week

I've been very busy using all of my new jewerly supplies to make some new stuff. I love wire wrapping, briolettes, gems, and sterling silver. I'm just loving it. I have some gold to work with but need gold wire/pins to put them all together.

Tropical earrings

It's fun to work with the neon colors of chalcedony.


This is a big hot pink druzy pendant. I'm a sucker for anything pink.

black spinel chandelier hoops

These are one of my faves. Classic, but so pretty they are not boring. Made with spinel, which is a naturally shiny black gem.

Raindrop chandelier earrings

The chandelier pieces look like little umbrellas. Plump raindrops hang from them. But they are not too big so I wouldn't have a problem wearing them.

Sapphire and Starfish

This is my personal favorite. I may just snatch it out of the shop so I can wear it myself this Summer. The genuine sapphire in different shades just get me all dreamy!

Butterfly drop necklace

I love how this necklace is so delicate with the tiny textured chain, the little sterling butterfly charm, and the baby teardrop garnet. I made matching earrings as well.

Branch necklace

This is just awesome, green onyx is hanging from the leaves.

Lotus earrings

These have already sold. May have to order more lotus charms.

I don't put anything in my shop that I wouldn't wear myself. That is the foundation of my designs. Thanks for checking out what I've been working on this week!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Seasons At Camp Blain

Summer at Camp Blain

Summer, bright and green. Pool all clean. This is turning into a 5th grade poem. Jacob and Dad riding the lawn mower.

The puddle lake

The pool left a mudpit but the boys don't mind. That frog sandbox lid makes a great boat!

The boys' fort

The fort Jesse built for the boys in the Fall. Not so green anymore, but still standing! Inside is a mock fire pit with an old skillet and some stumps for sitting.

Winter at Camp Blain

That dark red contraption is "the monster". An old oil tank built into a fire pit, or incinerator. Doors open and close and sometimes the flames spiral right out the top. I'll get photos of it when it's raging!


Jeb, our German Shorthaired Pointer. He's the dog that made me like dogs.

I can't wait for the Spring photos, just a few months away!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Shoe Wishes

I'm not a shoe-shopper. I have shoe-shopping issues. In fact, I own so few pairs that when I started dating my hubby he bought me some out of pity. Haha.

The problem is that I have short legs so I don't like flats or running shoes but got out of the habit of wearing heels since I had my kids. Where am I gonna wear 4 inch heels? The grocery store?

This Spring and Summer I want to pair casual dresses with cowboy inspired boots! Xoxo!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Accidental No egg No oil Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Found this recipe on All Recipes/Muffins II but forgot to add the egg. They still turned out very well! I put them in Transformers muffin cups for the boys. :)

New Necklaces Added to Etsy

Can you tell I'm holding the camera myself? I used a full length mirror in front of me to check the camera screen. I'm getting the hang of it.

Teal Crystal Double Chain

Teal Crystal Necklace

Not Yo Grandma's Pearl Necklace
Not Yo Grandma's Pearl Necklace

Summer Light Necklace
New Necklace Blue Summer