Thursday, June 21, 2018

Thankful Thursday #50

I am so thankful for so many things everyday.

I am thankful for my kids being at home for a little while.  Two were gone to the beach for a week, then when they came home one took back off again for a week.  The third child is coaching high school football and went to a camp last weekend and had a weekend away at the end of last month.  He enjoyed being on the coach side of summer football camps SO much better!  I remember having to pack him for those camps. I tried to help him this time, but he wouldn't let me.

I am glad they get to go and do, but it is so much better having them here.  I don't know what I am going to do when they all move out.  Maybe they will each have a room for me and I will rotate living with them and offering free babysitting!

I have been busy with my jewelry getting things made and listed for the Etsy 13th birthday sale.  The sale ends tomorrow so go see if there's something you want while every piece is 10% off.

I have two more charms coming in soon.  I should have them next week.  I am really excited about them both, but one in particular I am very proud of.

I added a few more of the leather bracelets.  These are so cute and look good stacked with other bracelets you may have.  They are also very nice so they would make a great gift.  They are genuine Indian leather and have Sterling Silver clasps with a Sterling Silver extender chain and 925 Sterling Silver flower charm at the end of the chain. 

These were listed yesterday. 

Just Dandy Red White and Blue Charm Bracelet

Monday, June 18, 2018

A Day of Celebrations!

I hope everyone had a great Father's Day.  My kids are so sweet to me.  I have been their only parent for the last 10 years so they celebrate me on Father's Day because they say I play both roles so should be recognized as both.

They gave me a few goodies they know I love and my older son did a post on Instagram.

It isn't always easy being a solo parent, but they have certainly made my job easier and there's nothing I would rather do or be than their parent.

Today is my nephew Walt's birthday.  He is 16!  Yikes!  He is the oldest of my nieces and nephews and I always remind him he is the one who made me an aunt. I am also his godmother.  I was in the room with my sister and her husband when they had all five of their kids.  I had C-Sections so it was just amazing seeing a birth the way it is supposed to happen.  I can't believe he is 16.  Time shows no mercy, does it?

It is also Etsy's birthday!  The 13th to be exact.  There is a big sale and my shop is participating with every item 10% off today through Friday, the 22nd.  I have a few links below to some of the things I have added and will be adding more items during the week.

All of the charms are my custom made charms out of my original artwork and designs so you won't find them anywhere else!  Just click on the titles to go straight to the listing and more pictures and information.

Angel Wings Charm Sterling Silver and Aquamarine Necklace

Southern Raised Jesus Saved Necklace with Cross Charm and Peridot

Peach Agate Cornbread Fed Jesus Led Charm Necklace

I am so excited about these new bracelets.  I worked and worked trying to figure out just how I wanted them to look while being strong and secure.  The leather comes in really pretty colors.

Angel Wings 

Cornbread Fed Jesus Led

Just Dandy

Can I Get An Amen

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Thankful Thursday #49

I am so thankful for so many things everyday.

I am so thankful I get to do what I love.  I love making jewelry especially for special occasions.  The feedback from people who have bought one of my original charms is so rewarding.

A lady picked up a bracelet yesterday for her niece's high school graduation.  Her niece is a survivor of  childhood cancer diagnosed at the age of 2 1/2.  It returned in her thyroid when she was 14.  She's an amazing young lady who gives back by volunteering her time with kids who are going through what she did.

It's such an honor to be a part of a special gift.

I am also thankful I got in another charm this week!  This one is so pretty!

It is transparent purple with white glitter for the angel wings and a hot pink heart.  I love glitter.

This design was inspired by my love of shimmery angel wings.  I definitely believe in guardian angels and probably keep mine pretty busy.  The purple and wings make this a great charm to wear in memory of someone. It is really unique and I am so proud of it.

I have it listed with a Stainless Steel chain. I am working on some other pieces to add to my shop.

Etsy is having it's 13th birthday (!!!) and for the celebration I am participating in a sale beginning Monday June 18th through Friday June 22nd.  Each item in my shop will be 10% off.

I will come back and update sharing some of my new pieces AND........ I have two new charms debuting on Sunday that will be part of the Etsy birthday sale!

Here is the listing for my new charm.

Purple and White Glitter Angel Wings Cross Charm


While I was posting this my two new charms were delivered.  I would wait until the weekend, but I am not patient in anything AT ALL!  Here are my southern themed charms.  I will post over the weekend and keep a check on my Etsy shop for new listings for the sale next week.

Cornbread Fed, Jesus Led

Southern Raised, Jesus Saved                                                                                              

Friday, June 8, 2018

Just Dandy

Y'all, I am SO excited about my new charms!

I got one of them in yesterday.  I have 5 more coming in consistently within the next four weeks!  New designs and themes.

I did the last charms based on my love of lightning bugs and summer nights.

This new design is inspired by dandelions.  When I was growing up, we had grass.  Whatever grew in the area is what you had in your yard.

Today, everyone does landscaping and different grasses are planted.  Weeds have never been popular or welcome in the yard.  Dandelions, although fun, are no different.

Who doesn't love the bright yellow flower, and, of course, making a wish, blowing the white seeds, and watching them dance in the air.  If there is a breeze, they seem to travel forever.

I have always loved a good analogy.  Dandelions and faith go together in so many ways.  God made these beautiful flowers, but they are often not viewed as they really are or for their true value.

While they are looked at as detrimental to a beautiful lawn, they are actually very valuable to our health. The roots can be used in teas, the leaves can be eaten in salads, and the flower can even be used to make wine.  It is beneficial to our health in so many ways.  It is particularly good for the liver.

If you have ever tried to get rid of these "weeds," you know the root goes very deep.  God's love for us is deep rooted and if we are firm in our foundation, we are beneficial to others. We may veer from our rooted faith, but the foundation is always there waiting to grow again. It's interesting that the biggest health benefit of the dandelion comes from the "cleansing" of the liver, the organ that can regenerate. Our faith and God also cleanses our soul and makes us new again.

When we make a wish and blow those pretty white seeds, they plant in the soil and grow wherever they land.  We can share God's love through the Bible and personal testimonies.  We can spread His good news and word wherever we choose to.

Like the dandelion, Jesus was rejected and not seen for who He really was. Rather than causing trouble, they offer so many benefits and the whole part is good.  Animals eat the dandelion, birds eat the seeds, and they are nutritious to the soil in which we pluck them from.

There are so many ways to compare the dandelion to our faith and they are also such a pretty and a fun childhood memory.

I created this charm with all of these things in mind.  If you look closely, the seeds turn into crosses.  We have the ability to share and spread God's love and watch it take root wherever it may land.  I thought the words "Just Dandy" would be fun and I gave them a retro, graffiti look.  I love the phrase "just dandy" when someone asks me how I am doing.  My grandfather would say about my boys, "he's a dandy!"

I chose red, white, and blue just in time for the 4th of July and to be patriotic at any time!

I have the listing with the charm on a Stainless Steel chain, but I am working on more listings and more options.

Dandelion Cross Charm Necklace 
  Click the title or here to go directly to the listing.)

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!  I am having so much fun creating these charms and I cannot wait to share the others coming in soon!!!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Thankful Thursday #48

I am so thankful for so many things everyday.

I love fashion icons.  We, as women, have had our taste in fashion and sense of style influenced by many women.  I think of one in particular, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.  She was a beautiful woman with such a classic style.

My favorite quote comes from her:  "If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do matters very much."

She had children in an era where women weren't expected to be anything more than a mother, but so many strived to be more.

Throughout history, women were supposed to pick up the slack when our country was at war and the men were busy fighting.  When the wars were over and men returned, women were supposed to go back to the home.  But, so many women found out they could provide for their family and could be more than just a housewife.

Women have always struggled with caring for the family and pursuing other talents and abilities.

The women in my family have been housewives, but filled other roles as well.  Many have worked outside the home while taking care of their family.

Today, the roles of men are different.  They are expected to help out more with housework and taking care of the kids.  Some men are the ones who stay home while their wives work.  Although times have changed, I still feel like if the house is a wreck or the children are a mess most of the time the woman is still looked to as if it is her sole responsibility.

There are a lot of women who are business owners, entrepreneurs, and in roles once only held by men.  Young girls have a lot of role models to look up to today.  The pressure is still there, though.  Perhaps the guilt for not being a stay at home mom and "putting the kids first." For some women, divorce has forced them into the workforce.  Others find a passion that becomes a business, and sometimes, an empire.

I am thankful for the many women who paved the way in the workforce.  My grandmother has always worked.  She has done so many things.  I always say I get my confidence for trying something new from her.  She has done real estate, owned a hair salon, taught ceramic making in her basement for just a few.

Every once in a while we get someone like Kate Spade to serve as a role model and example.  After creating her brand, she chose to sell and stay home with her daughter.  I don't care how successful you are, there is still that nagging feeling that we are supposed to be at home. I don't regret a single day I was a stay at home mom.  I chose to get a degree in education so I could have the same schedule as my kids. That was 24 years ago. After becoming a single mom and not having any work experience, my daughter paid attention and is looking for a career that will allow her to be home some with her kids, but so that she won't be in the same situation as me if she were to end up being a single mom.  This is how times and society has changed.

It is sad that a lot of women put so much pressure on themselves. It has always been tough but with social media it has just gone overboard.  I love reading young fashion blogs, but the pressure to be perfect and do everything is just too much.  We shouldn't put that much pressure on ourselves and we shouldn't judge each other if we admit to being overwhelmed.  We shouldn't compete with one another, but be supportive and understanding. We can have the appearance of being perfect, but sooner or later that facade is going to fade and we end up feeling lonely, but it doesn't have to be that way. 

I have always heard that kids don't remember a perfectly kept house, they remember a fun childhood. That is easier said than done in today's pressures of looking like you are doing everything and keeping all balls in the air.

Mental illness is a real thing and I am so thankful there isn't the stigma attached to it that was for years.  It isn't something to be embarrassed about.  So many people deal with anxiety and depression.  I don't know if it is a bigger problem today or it is just more talked about.  The pressures of daily life are definitely more than ever.  It is completely understandable that women get anxiety and feel overwhelmed.  Especially in a world where it looks like everyone else is succeeding while you may be barely getting everything accomplished. We need to get real and put aside the pressure to look perfect. 

That is one wonderful thing about getting older.  You don't let expectations bother you so much. Through experience, you have learned what to stress over and what just isn't a big of a deal as you once thought it was.

I am thankful for so many women who have taken on the burden of pressures and paved the way for so many.  While we have seen the successes, there are many aspect of sacrifices and stress we didn't see.

You just never know what someone is going through.  Kate Spade was always so put together and such a successful person, it was surprising what she was really dealing with. Or, was it?

I was talking about National Day of Prayer about a month ago. Every day is a National Day of something.  It would be wonderful to have one day (at least) for women to get real.  Don't show what is perfect, show what is a real struggle for you.  Whether it's a messy kitchen or something more serious I think it would make so much more of an impact than showing what "appears" to be perfect.

What do you think?

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Thankful Thursday #47

I am so thankful for so many things everyday.

Need some pretty new earrings for a beach trip???

I love water. I don't remember not knowing how to swim and I have always loved it.  My favorite thing to drink is water.  As much as I love water, I am afraid of the ocean.  But that doesn't have to do with the water, more like the sharks and other things that live in it!

There's nothing more relaxing than the sound of running water.  A brook or stream of water over rocks is just so refreshing, and makes me want to drink water!

I also love the color of blue. Oceans and lakes can be the prettiest color of blue and green.  One day, I want to live near a river, maybe in the mountains, and also have a place at a beach. I also want to travel to places where the color of water is the most beautiful shades of aqua blue and turquouise green.  Is it Greece that has the lovely royal blue color of water?  It looks like the blue ink of a pen in water.

Anyway, (I got sidetracked and daydream typing!) I am thankful for this string of beads.  They are absolutely gorgeous and my lack of photography skills does not do them justice.  Some are dark, some blue, some green, and some sparkly!  They are turquoise blue green Opals.

I made these earrings with the strand.  I made a few others while I was on the theme of blue and water colors!

These would look so pretty on vacation with beachy, summer wear......and, of course...... a tan!

Turquoise Blue Green Opal

Columbian Emerald, Carnelian, and Peridot

Turquoise Blue Green Opal and African White Opal

Pink Opal and Sleeping Beauty Turquoise

I will be posting these in my shop.  Keep a check, I have a few new things to add.  Things are a little calmer around here and I am getting caught up on things while waiting on two new charms to debut in the next week!  Stay tuned!  They are going to be stunning, fun, and with a great message.  I have a very special blog post for one of them!

Monday, May 28, 2018

Land of the Free Because of the Brave

Happy Memorial Day

I have always felt weird saying "Happy" before "Memorial."

My son Shane's birthday is tomorrow (he's turning 22!) so we have usually had a birthday party on or around Memorial Day.

We celebrate today because of those who fought for our country and who have died. I just can't imagine the worry parents and loved ones have when someone they cherish signs up for the military.  I know there is a feeling of pride too, but I am sure fear is the top of the list.

We know life is a blink and things happen to people all of the time, but someone choosing to protect our country and sacrifice his/her own life to do so is just the most selfless act there is.  It indeed is a type of calling.  There have always been wars and men/women fighting in wars.

Aretha Franklin said it best, but respect is such a big thing.  I really think that is what is lacking in so many relationships and the general reason people don't get along.  If you have sincere respect for someone, then even if you disagree on a matter you aren't going to do anything to mistreat that person.

I am the last person to give marital advice since I am divorced, but if you truly respect your partner you aren't going to hurt them on purpose.  Respect is such a basic thing, but means so much.

I saw on the news this morning there was a softball game being played somewhere and the national anthem wasn't going to be sung before so the fans took it upon themselves to sing it.

Today of all days we need to stand. It isn't just out of respect for those who lost their lives protecting ours, but also out of respect for the moms, dads, wives, husbands, children, and other family members who sacrificed their loved one so we have the option to stand.

I found this poem on Pinterest.  I couldn't find who wrote it.  If you know, please comment.

The weather isn't being very cooperative here. I don't think it is in many places.  Gosh, bless the poor people in Maryland who just recovered from flash flooding in their pretty little town two years ago only to have it all washed away again. Alberto isn't showing mercy on anywhere in its path.  A lot of places aren't having the celebrations they normally do because of weather.  I think sometimes we get so into celebrations we tend to lose sight what it is we are celebrating.  Maybe this is a time for reflection and realizing just what the day means.

I hope everyone has a blessed day, I just still feel strange saying Happy in front of Memorial.  I was at a funeral home one time and when I left a guy working there held the door for me and actually said, "Come back soon." I had to have given him a look.  That is the only business you shouldn't say that. I still wonder what in the world the guy was thinking. Maybe it was just business to him.  I think a little reflection and deep thought in this case would be helpful.

I made these bracelets for us, but I am going to make some more and have in my Etsy shop.  They would be perfect for the 4th of July!  I have a new charm coming the end of the week and another in a couple of weeks that is also red, white, and blue with a great message for the 4th also!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Thankful Thursday #46

I am so thankful for so many things everyday.

You should try to find the blessing in any situation.  I am in the current situation of having my poor, sweet little dog recovering from surgery and getting caught back up on Etsy listings and jewelry making.  The blessing is I have gotten to spend quality and quantity time with my daughter, Sydney.

It has taken both of us to care for poor Mia.  We didn't have dogs until her, four years ago, so we didn't know how this would go and we I soon realized the bad habits we were in with me being home all day with these two sweet dogs.

Sydney really is my best friend and she was so busy with school this last semester I have actually enjoyed her having to stay in and help.  Is that terrible of me???  Well, she and her brothers are always on the go, even though they all live at home, so I will take what I can get!

I am thankful Mia is on the mend and time with my girl.  My human girl, that is.  The kids tease me all the time that the dogs are my favorite.  It has been a long running joke that they claim my middle child, Shane, is my favorite but I have told them many times I love them all the same.  He said not too long ago "It was a good run being the favorite until Mia and Maggie got here." 

I told them they were being silly, of course I love my children more, but these sweet little dogs can't talk back, love me no matter what, and are always here with me.  I realize they have no choice, but again, I will take what I can get!

Here are two of my favorite pictures of me and Sydney.

I had this as my profile picture on Facebook.  On the left is Sydney with me at my college graduation and a picture of her in her cap and gown photo session a few weeks ago.

Here are all three of my kids and me on vacation last year.

I will put the listings I have added on Etsy below.  I have my new peace sign "can i get an amen" necklaces, the glow in the dark cross charm necklaces. I have even added a listing for one of the amen charms and a choice of the glow in the dark charms.  I have a new design coming in next week and three more within the next 3 weeks and they are all the same 3/4" size and look really good with more than one on the chain.  I will be adding some bracelet choices too.

It has been a full time job the last couple of weeks, but look at this cute little face! 

She had her first physical therapy and laser therapy appointment yesterday.  She's been a trooper and finally got to remove the cone.  That thing would have driven me nuts!  I had to wear an electrical stimulator neck brace for a couple hours a day after my neck fusion a few years ago to make sure it all healed correctly so I think I empathize with her.

This is Mia and Maggie on my bed.  Yes, those are kitchen and dining room chairs I have put around my bed to make almost a play pen out of it. I know it looks ridiculous, but I am not fast enough to get her if she forgets she can't jump and they are used to being on my bed (she was trying to jump up to get me to let her up on it) so I just did this.  It looks like they are trying to figure out an escape, but when I get them down they just want right back up.

There are blessings in everything, though sometimes they are harder to find, they are there.

You can click here to get to my Etsy shop or click on the titles to go to the specific listing.

Peace Sign Custom Charm Necklace

Glow In The Dark Cross Charm Necklace

"Can I Get An Amen and Glow In The Dark Charm Necklace