Thursday, October 19, 2017

Thankful Thursday #15

I am thankful for so many things everyday.

     Need a spiritual gift for a birthday or Christmas?

I don't think I really realize just how fortunate I am to live in a country where I can express my religious beliefs.  Although it can be hard here at times and sometimes it seems that freedom is narrowing, I know I can freely be a Christian.

The whole being of this blog and the title goes back to my memories of childhood, church, and family.

I love new Christian music.  I have my 3rd Casting Crowns CD in my car.  I lost the first two, moving them around from car to car and didn't hesitate replacing it a third time.

As much as I love new music, there is just something about the old, traditional church songs.

I had an idea to create my own charms.  What I originally had on my mind is not what I ended up with, but I love it even more!  I just prayed about it and went with it.  That's what I am supposed to do all the time, but Worry and Control take over too many times.

I worked with the same company who did the Friendship charms I posted about.  These charms are my artwork.  I wanted something whimsical and fun, but a positive message.

I have so many wonderful memories of church and the traditional hymns are just so comforting to the soul. I hope and pray I am successful with these, but if they just give someone a great feeling or spark a sweet memory I will be happy!

I am making things for my Etsy store and getting ready for a festival this Saturday, but I couldn't wait to post my charms!  Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.  I have more in the works and would love the feedback!

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I love the blacked out look, but the silver shows the details in the artwork.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Anchors Aweigh

Happy 242nd Birthday, Navy!

I am so proud of the men in my family.  The ones who have passed on and the ones who are still here being great influences for my kids.

I would say I have had the best grandfathers ever, but then my kids and nieces and nephews would argue my dad is the best and I can't disagree.  My mom and dad would even speak for their grandfathers and I admit they aren't wrong.  I had very strong great grandfathers on both sides.

Today, though, I am singling out my sweet grandfather because he served in the Navy!

Being respectful of our military is a hot button for Americans because if you have family who has served in any branch then you are proud and recognize their sacrifice.

Our high school chorus is amazing.  The teacher and his wife are great people and do amazing things year after year.  They always have a concert around Veterans Day.  My kids were in chorus and they always did a salute with a song and recognized veterans and those serving.  I would always get choked up watching my grandfather stand.

I went to my grandparents' house and got a picture of this picture they hang in the hall.  My handsome, brave, and very sweet grandfather.

I am going to be posting more bracelets like this over the weekend, but didn't want to miss this chance to express my pride in my grandfather and my sincere gratitude and prayers for everyone serving in all   branches of the military and their families.

I haven't added it to my Etsy shop yet, I will be adding more tomorrow.  These are so cute!  The beads are authentic African trade beads from Ghana.   These beads are made from powder glass by the people of Krobo in the Kroboland region of Ghana West Aftica.  They are 100% handmade..

The brown beads are Madre de Cacao (from a hard tropical wood) and the black are Ebony wood beads. Both are 10mm.

Happy Birthday Navy!

Happy Friday the 13th everyone!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Thankful Thursday #14

I am thankful for so many things everyday.

I am one of those nerdy and geeky people who loved school and especially the first day of a new year.  I loved learning and in my parents words, "would still be in school if I could."

I have my degree in middle school education and did some graduate classes, mainly to keep up my certificate while I was a stay at home mom.  I went a little bit through the masters program, but I didn't finish.

I always thought the benefit of not having a masters might be lower pay which might help me get a teaching job.  They wouldn't have to pay me as much.  When I did think about teaching, I realized my experience as a mom didn't make me more qualified than a young girl fresh out of graduate school.

I still believe my experiences should have counted for more than it did, but I think maybe their head was more with the thinking of do we want a worn out mom of 3 with just a bachelors from a few years ago who may have been up all night with sick kids and will probably use all of her sick days or an eager, young person with no responsibilities outside of her job? I kind of get it.  I did teach one year and it was hard with young kids. If I hadn't been a stay at home mom first, I wouldn't have had the guilt of leaving kids at home especially when they were sick.

I could have finished that graduate degree, but I don't think I would have used it.  I just enjoyed school and learning.  However, I am older now and watching my three kids and two very special girls to me study and cram and stress all last weekend and this week with college mid-terms, I am very thankful not to have to take another mid-term or final exam.

Seeing as how I can't remember why I walked in a room or where I last put something and the panic attacks of pressure in some situations, school might not be as fun to me as it once was.  Seriously, adults who go back to school after raising kids are just on a whole different level of awesome to me.  I admire their ambition and ability to go back to school.  Things happen, life happens, and going back to finish or just to start a new career is so admirable and impressive.

Everyone has that one recurring dream.  Mine is being in school and it's the end of the semester and I haven't been to class or taken any of the tests.  I don't know why I have that dream because if that was real life I would have dropped the class, but it isn't an option in my dream.  And, being that far behind why would I even bother taking the final?  Either way, I wake up in a sweat and scared.  It's my recurring nightmare.

I made these bracelets.  The beads are round limestone, but they look like little apples.  These would make great teacher gifts.

The first one has the "ohm" charm for meditation.  Studying is stressful.  All of my kids are stressed this week.

Apple Limestone Bead Stretchy Bracelet with Karen Hill Tribe Beads and Sterling Silver Ohm Charm

This one is in honor of my Junior and Senior high school English teacher.  Sometimes while passing out the final she would give us permission to pray beforehand.  That was never a good sign, but I always did great in her class.  She definitely gave me a love for and intrigue with literature.

Apple Limestone Bead Stretchy Bracelet with Karen Hill Tribe Beads and Sterling Silver Cross Charm

Monday, October 9, 2017

Happy Columbus Day

This is one of those holidays I am not sure who is open or closed.  My nieces and nephews go to different schools and they are all home today.  A lot of schools have turned it into a Fall break.

We didn't get all the long holidays when I was in school.  Today, they take 4 day weekend breaks.  Sometimes a teacher workday is in there.  Now the whole week of Thanksgiving is out.  When I was in school we only got out Thursday and Friday.  But, I grew up in a small town.  Everybody knew everybody for generations.  We didn't need the whole week to travel for Thanksgiving because everyone's family was here!

I posted a few more items on my Etsy shop over the weekend.

Today, in honor of Columbus Day, I am posting my first pieces of men's bracelets.  I am working on the charms with my artwork and realized I have more nephews than nieces and don't really have anything for men.  I am in the works of changing that with my charms and decided to include bracelets in my shop.  I have had some gorgeous wooden beads for a couple of weeks trying to decide exactly what to do with them.  I also have the prettiest African trade beads from Ghana.  I put them together and really like the way they turned out!  I will be posting more, but have these for today!

This one because Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

Black Ebony Wood Beads with Teal Blue Zen Eco-Friendly African Trade Bead from Ghana Karen Hill Tribe Beads

This one because I love the color with the brown beads.

Tiger Ebony Wood Beads with Yellow Zen Eco-Friendly African Trade Bead from Ghana Karen Hill Tribe Bead

     I am blessed with so many great and strong men in my family.  I have my dad, grandfather, uncles, cousins, and my boys who are now men and nephews on the way to becoming men.  The beads in these bracelets are also strong and made of hard strong wood from trees grown in the Phillipines (tiger wood) and India (black ebony).  (I had to rewrite that sentence about 5 times. I had to replace hard to repeat the word strong because, well, I apologize. You know you would have thought it too!)

I hope everyone is having a great day whether it is a holiday for you or not.  I hope you like the new pieces and you might want to honor the man in your life with a special gift.  We are blessed by men who are leaders, great husbands and fathers, and examples to all young men who watch everything they do.  We love you guys even when you won't ask for directions.  It's ok.  Columbus didn't know where he was going and look what happened!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Look on the Bright Side

Do you prefer brighter colors over Fall colors?
Need some color to wear with Fall neutrals?

I love all things Fall including the darker colors.  I do like neutral tones and the deeper shades we start seeing this time of year.  I also like bright colors.  In fact, I would say, 99.9% of the time I will pick hot pink over burgundy or bright blue over navy.

Brighter colors are worn more often with warm weather, but if you are fair skin and blonde like me, dark weather colors can get you a little drab and pale looking.  I have always had a love for the sun so maybe I just FEEL drab and pale in the winter months.  Dark colors are pretty, but I certainly don't box up my bright things.  A lot of people's moods are affected in the winter because we don't have as much sun. Wearing something cheery and colorful can sometimes pick up a dark winter mood.

I have new colors that have just come in.  If you are Christmas shopping these would be great.  Why is is it as soon as I take down the Christmas tree I am ready for Spring?  Seriously, every year I take down Christmas decorations and say goodbye Winter and it only just began.  If you know someone like me they will be tickled pink to see colorful jewelry in their stocking or Christmas package!

Apatite 14K Gold Filled Necklace

Amethyst Apatite Karen Hill Tribe Sterling Silver Earrings

Pink and Black Tourmaline Sterling Silver Earrings

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Thankful Thursday #13

Does the number 13 bother you?

It used to bother me.  I would avoid it, but have had times it proved to be lucky for me, so 13 is my lucky number.

I was in my high school beauty pageant my freshman year and I drew number 13.  I swapped with a really great friend of mine.  Neither of us did anything that year, but the next year she won (I don't remember either of our numbers that year).  The next year, I drew 13 again and kept it.  I won my Junior year and the friend I swapped with before crowned me.  After that, I haven't avoided but embraced the number and it has proven to be lucky for me.  I hesitate to say lucky because I don't really believe in "luck," but rather, it showed me unlucky doesn't exist.  Thankfulness and prayer exist and so for that I am thankful for the unlucky blessed number 13.

 I had lunch recently with the mother of my son's girlfriend, Courtney, and there were many empty tables with numbers and I went to 13.

Not only do I love her mother and the rest of the family, I love his girlfriend.  They are so sweet and just bring out the best in each other. So, I wasn't trying to jinx anything, I went for "luck" because I want this sweet lady and me to be family one day and share grandchildren.  We already have it all planned out. Although, I told her she may have the grandchildren more than me.  It's a joke around our house I can't ever find anything. I am sure my son would be worried to hear me say, "Now where did I put that baby?" I'm not really that bad, I did successfully raise three. And, fortunately, I know where they are.  They all 3 are in college and still live with me.  I am more than ok with that and they all know if they are married and have children and need a place to live my home is always theirs.  (That might up my chances of babysitting if they live with me.  The baby would be easier to find!)

The restaurant we went to is a bakery and we told them when we got home we went ahead and picked out the wedding cake and got a jump on cupcakes for when we need them for a baby shower.  Although neither event is in the near future, we hope and pray it is not too far in the future.

They are both young, but they really are a perfect fit.  They are so considerate of each other and get along so well.  It's my youngest, Stratton, and being the youngest, he hasn't always had to put others first being the baby of the family.  It's sweet and kind of funny seeing him put her first in everything. We used to tease him that it's his world, we are just living in it.

I get massages and have for years.    When Stratton's back is bothering him he gets them too.  He lifted the wrong way and his back was really hurting him last week so he went for a massage.  Courtney went with him and sat and waited on him.  He found out she has never had one so he scheduled her for one today and he's going to go sit and wait on her while she gets one.

This is how people and couples are supposed to be with each other.  Giving, considerate, and thankful. They have been together almost a year and they get more considerate instead of it fading.  The more they find out about each other, the more they appreciate one another.

Both of our families get along so well.  I am the same age as her parents and feel like I have known her mom forever.  Whoever said you marry the person not the family must not have had any living in-laws. There are a lot of holidays and if you have kids there a lot of birthdays and activities.  You most certainly marry the whole family tree.

I listed three necklaces in my Etsy shop today.  The first is an Ethiopian Opal Necklace with my new custom Bible verse charm.  Opal is the birthstone for October so it's perfect for a gift for someone.

In the theme of unlucky 13, the color black usually goes along with it, anything dark, and dark is creepy, it is October, Halloween is coming up. I think you get my drift.  The dark gray of the chain and charms make these great for Fall tops and sweaters!

Ethiopian Opal Bible Verse Charm Oxidized Sterling Silver Necklace

This necklace has 3 Karen Hill Tribe beads moving freely above the custom charm on one side.  The dark gray of the oxidized Sterling Silver is great for Fall!

Karen Hill Tribe and Bible Verse Custom Charm Oxidized Sterling Silver Necklace

I love this one!  It is a celestial necklace and the blue/steel gray of the Kyanite goes so well with the oxidized chain.  The Karen Hill Tribe beads are also a great accent.  I love the look of mixed metal.

Moon and Star Kyanite Oxidized Sterling Silver Necklace

And I have these two sweet little things who sit with me and watch me make jewelry.    I haven't lost them yet, although I have closed them in the pantry, my room, the office, and a closet more than once not knowing they were right behind me and didn't follow me out.  I call them my shadow for a reason.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


I am so excited about these charms, I can't work fast enough!

Patience has never been a strength of mine.  I don't have any.  At all.

     I am making things all day today and listing them on my Etsy shop.  I am posting about the first two necklaces.  I am going to be adding a lot of different things, but I was so happy with how these turned out I didn't want to wait!

Kyanite Karen Hill Tribe Custom Charm Necklace

Green Tree Agate Karen Hill Tribe Custom Charm Necklace

What do you think?

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Daily Good Deed

Trying to find the right gift to express love and friendship?

     I haven't listed new items in a week or so.  I have been waiting on some new things to come in and I have been working on something I am so excited about.

I have said with making my jewelry I want beautiful pieces, but I also would like them to mean something.  I have been working on my own charms.  I love drawing and have used my own artwork on some.  They will be in soon and I am beyond excited about them.

     It's funny, I had an idea and what came out was not what was originally in my head, but I think it has worked out so much better.  It's going to be torture waiting on them to come in.

This is what I got in the mail today!

It isn't my artwork, but it is my design.  I wanted to do something meaningful and with a Bible verse(s).  It's no secret our country, really the whole world, is not in the best shape as far as the way we treat each other. It definitely fits the "It's Complicated" relationship status.  People are just no holds barred, no filter, when criticizing others today.  Most of the time, it's over political subjects, but it's also just in general.

What happened yesterday in Las Vegas was just awful, sad, and incomprehensible.  The act is something most of us can't even begin to understand.

Like most tragedies, out of the horrific act, comes stories of people doing good and taking care of one another.

Why does it take something like that for people to be good to each other, for a while?  Then, we go back to regular life and it all starts back up. There were some really great people who put themselves last and helped others during the shooting.  I would imagine those people are generally like that in life.

We have all heard the expression, "good deed for the day."  We are supposed to do one act of kindness a day.  A lot of people criticize the motivation.  Some say we do good deeds because it makes us feel good so we are really doing it for ourselves not someone else.  I don't agree with that.  Sure it makes us feel good about ourselves to help someone else.  It should.  It only makes sense.  If we feel bad when we treat someone badly, then it only makes sense to feel good when we treat someone good.

What if that good feeling isn't selfish, but a hug from God?  His positive reinforcement to keep us wanting to be good to one another.

I chose these verses because I think it is perfect for right now and the way we treat each other right now.  I also picked it for myself.  This is a hard one for me.  I work from home and my kids are in college so I am not in the school and sports activities or things that get me out regularly.  I am a homebody and pretty much stay in my little world.  I don't go looking for a fight or argument when I do go out.  However..... And, this is a big "but." When someone mistreats me or my family I get upset.  I tend to go hard especially if the situation is just wrong.  That's what gets me fired up is when someone has been done wrong, mistreated.  I don't hesitate to stand up for what is right.  I can let my mouth get me into trouble.  It doesn't matter if I am in the right or not, I know I am not supposed to do that, but it is one of my many flaws.  These verses are a reminder to myself.

     Unfortunately, not everyone walks around with Christ in his/her heart.  There are mean people, broken people, people who just aren't good.  It's hard for me to remind myself that even if someone chooses to do wrong by me or my family, it's not for me to battle.  Things like yesterday tend to bring out the good in most, for a while.  It doesn't take long for things to go back to "normal."  In the end, I can only answer for myself and I don't need those who choose to mistreat me or others to stain my soul.  The act is on them, but the reaction is on me.

I think they are great words for everyone, but even specifically for women supporting each other.  We tend to be hard on one another and we should build each other up, not tear each other down.

And it never hurts to put a few of God's beautiful creations of stones and crystals for added wonderfulness.  Is that a word?  If not, it should be.

I will post the wonderfulness as soon as I get a few pieces made!  I will also offer just the pendant in my shop.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Good TV, Bad TV Day

I think I have mentioned I love TV.  Haha! I had a good and bad TV day yesterday.

Late Saturday night into Sunday morning, I woke up about    4:00 am.  The TV was off, or so it seemed.  I realized I couldn't get but a few channels to come on.  I figured it was my box because it is never turned off and I just turned it to what I could.

I figured out yesterday morning when I got up that it was the whole house.  I called to get them to send a signal to all my boxes and the recording said there were a higher volume of callers than normal so they wouldn't be taking any more.  That was strange, I just thought it must have been a big problem in my area.

After a while, I did what everyone else does when they are curious about something.  I asked on Facebook.  I tried to call again but there was no answer and it just stopped ringing.  I went back to Facebook and to my horror, it wasn't just our area, it was a several state wide outage.  That's crazy!  I thought well, they have a lot of people upset so they might get it fixed faster.  Then I thought, well, if it has affected this many people it probably isn't a small issue!  I tried to wait patiently.  My DVR and On Demand were working.  It was early afternoon and the WiFi was out too and my kids had homework so on the one day everyone is usually around, everyone left looking for WiFi.  They weren't gone long when I noticed everything was working again!

Later on, Sydney and I decided to watch The Good Doctor I had on DVR.  We hadn't watched it yet, but we were really excited about it.  Oh my goodness! We are both really into hospital shows and reality medical shows.  I joke that I have seen enough doctors I should be given an honorary degree.

That show is my new favorite.  It was sad in places, though.  Sad, but maybe tear jerking is a better word.  It makes you think and feel.  Not many shows do that today.  Not in a good way, anyway.  If Kleenex doesn't sponsor this show it really should.  The message in just the first episode was really powerful.  I am kind of glad we didn't see it until yesterday because it comes back on tonight.  I hate waiting for a show to come on!

Sooooo, that explains my good TV, bad TV day.  Any TV day is a good day to me.  I love watching shows while working on my jewelry.  Speaking of, I have some really great things I will be posting this week!  I have a charm I designed coming in.  It is a lot of fun creating something pretty and meaningful.  It has a great Bible verse on it that I personally feel is needed right now.  Just like the show last night, people are so easy to criticize others and not take the time to see what "their story" is.  We all have flaws and things we deal with.  I can't wait to post the charm.  Although I didn't do the artwork for this one, I created the design for it and you won't find it anywhere else.  I did however do the artwork on other charms coming in soon.  I am really excited about those too because you certainly won't see them anywhere else either.  This is a new thing for me making charms for my jewelry, but I am having so much fun with it!

What is your favorite show?

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Thankful Thursday #12

     Some people can't sleep if there is any noise or light in the room.  Some people can't sleep unless there is some kind of noise and a night light.

 I am a TV person.  I can't stand it if my cable goes out.  No TV is just torture for me.  When I moved two years ago I didn't have cable for a couple of days and I played DVDs over and over again.  I had Friends and I don't care how many times I have seen an episode I can watch it over and over again and laugh like I haven't seen it before.

I am thankful for TV in general, but especially DVR and On Demand.  I sleep with my TV on.  I have since I was little.  When I would go spend the night with friends and they were one of those no light no sound people, I stared at the ceiling all night and heard EVERY SINGLE sound.

My kids just can't imagine that we only had a few channels when I was growing up.  There was no cartoon network.  You binge watched on Saturday mornings because you couldn't get them again until the next Saturday.  It is just crazy how many channels there are now.

We have all of these channels, but it seems like there are two nights a week all my favorite shows come on and then there are a night or two where I don't really like much on.  This is where DVR is magical.  It is great enough to be able to record more than one show at a time.  When we had to tape everything before DVDs you could only tape one thing and you couldn't watch another channel on that television.  On Demand is even better because if you forget, you might be able to find your show on there.  I love all of The Real Housewives shows.  I didn't think it was On Demand then one day I found it under another subject and it was like hitting the lottery!

I do abuse DVR, though.  Because I have it and I am not too picky when it comes to TV, I think I have to record everything.  I am constantly at 99% full and have to figure out what to erase.

Me and my daughter, Sydney, like all of the paranormal shows.  I record those because we watch those, then something funny after it before we go to sleep!  A couple of our favorites paranormals are Dead Files and Paranormal Lockdown.  We like American Horror Story, but I would be afraid to meet the writers of that show.  I couldn't watch a couple of seasons.  It's just disturbing.

Other favorites are both Teen Moms.  We get so mad watching it, though!  We mostly get mad at the dads, but a couple of those girls are a little cray cray! Our new favorite is Siesta Key.  Pretty people, the beach, and drama.  The TV show trifecta!

I am always so ready for this time of year for new seasons to start.  Although with so many new channels and Netflix, there is always something new on!

Our little girls, our two dogs Mia and Maggie, even love watching TV with us!  They sit on my bed and watch whatever me and Sydney are watching.  These are a couple of pictures we took recently.

Mia can get on the bed, I have an ottoman she uses, but Maggie has a bad knee and has to be put on and off the bed.  This is Mia with the remote.  She's funny!  I will walk back to my bedroom sometimes and she beats me back there and is on the bed near the remote and it's so funny.  She looks like she is watching TV and in charge of the remote! It's really funny when she's on the couch in the den, on the blanket we keep on the couch and the remote nearby. Maybe she knows what she's watching! It would be really funny if I walked in one day and the TV would be on Animal Planet.

I love watching Andy Griffith.  It's like comfort food.  I remember watching it at night when I was in elementary school.  It would come on and so would The Carol Burnett Show.  We had a dining room table, but at night when they were on, we would eat dinner off of TV trays in the den and watch them.  I love the show anyway, but those memories make watching it now just comforting.

I have heard some city people say they can't sleep if they are away from the sounds of the city.  It makes sense to me!  If my TV turns off for some reason during the night, I wake up. If I am recording one of our paranormal shows and I wake up while it's recording I have to turn the channel.

That's the beauty of DVR, I can change the channel and keep recording!  What are your favorite things to watch and do you sleep in quiet or with noise?

Oh, and I keep the bathroom light on.  ESPECIALLY if we have watched American Horror Story!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

In His Image

There have been so many photos and images from NFL teams in the last couple of days.

Out of all of them one stands out to me.


     Alejandro Villanueva, #78 for the Pittsburg Steelers, stood by himself in the tunnel.  He was a captain and Army Ranger and served three tours in Afghanistan.  He received several medals for his service including the Bronze star.

His teammates chose to stay in the locker room, but he walked into the tunnel alone and showed his respect.

This photo says so much more to me than what is really going on.

This is each of us, in the end.  We don't go locking arms.  We are alone and don't answer to God for anyone but ourselves.  We can't bring along people to support us, we don't get character witnesses, it is just me, myself, and I.

This is such a reminder to me that everyone has beliefs and, thankfully for this man and others like him, we have the right to stand up for those beliefs.

We have one side to choose to be on in this world and it's the side of our God.  At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what everyone else chooses to do, we can only answer for ourselves and we are only responsible for ourselves.

There was a lot going on with the NFL on Sunday, but this man chose to do what was close to his heart and what he believed was the right thing for him.  He wasn't afraid to stand alone and strong.

I think he made a big impact standing alone and I couldn't help but think about the bigger picture.

Genesis 1:26-27New International Version (NIV)

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

1 Corintians 12:27
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.