Thursday, January 25, 2018

Thankful Thursday #29



I am so thankful for so many things everyday.

I can't believe this is Thankful Thursday #29.  It is easy to list things I am thankful for, but having 29 weeks of postings is something great.

I had a post ready for today.  I struggled with the wording a little bit and didn't feel like I clearly made a point, but it was ready.  I think I struggled for a reason.

I opened up my Facebook this morning and a really good friend of mine had shared a video and as I watched it I realized I had my Thankful Thursday #29 post.

I am, by nature, an impatient person.  I have never had much patience at all.  The older I get (and more mistakes I make) I realize just how important patience and timing is.  I try to share that with my kids, but, well, they are MY kids and all have some impatience in them.  I also think it is their ages. (19, 21, and almost 24.)

I did my Thankful Thursday #23 post about coincidences and the fact that I don't really believe in them as "strange occurrences" as much as divine intervention and "signs."

This morning was one of those times I shut out impatience and let a message take over and re-wrote my post.

I love football.  I haven't always, but my 21 year old son, Shane, played in high school and even though I still don't understand it completely I really enjoy watching.  He has friends who play for different colleges and it is fun watching them, even when they play each other!  My son was blessed with opportunities to play college football but took a different path.  He did the prayer before games and wanted to be a youth pastor.  Our church didn't have a youth pastor when he was getting college offers and being very close to our church pastor, my son took on the title as youth leader and led the youth group at our church for two years instead of playing college football.

My dad battled Hodgkins Lymphoma twice while Shane was in high school.  The second time, my dad got a stem cell transplant.  Thank the Lord he has been in remission since, but family is very important to Shane and he missed being around family just playing football in high school.  He knew if he played college he would really not be around and we all learned just how precious time with family is to us.

He isn't the youth leader at church anymore, but he is coaching a couple of high school football players from two local schools in off season and is going to be helping a former coach at a high school when they start back up.  His heart is in strength and conditioning and helping young athletes prevent injuries and if they have them recovering correctly. He has a God given gift of understanding the body especially in sports and he is head trainer at his gym.  On top of college, he will get his Associates this summer and then go on to a Kinesiology program, he has certification in different training including Cross Fit and Opex training.

I love Tim Tebow.  I think it is great young guys have him for a role model.  He sent a message to so many. It made putting God in football for young guys a more "trendy" thing rather than embarrassed by their faith.

I have tons of action shots of Shane playing football. I am very proud of those, but the ones I am most proud of are the ones he is praying over the team before the game.
















My Thankful Thursday #23 post was about his football number and just one of the many things that happen to us with that number.

I saw this video on Facebook and just because it is Tim Tebow is enough to share it, but it has an amazing message I had never heard from him before.

I will save the post I had ready for another time and listen to that little voice that told me to post this video.  Maybe it will have a significance to someone reading this or just reach someone somehow.  Whatever the purpose may be, even if it is just a reminder to myself, no matter how impatient I may be I ALWAYS listen to that voice.


You can find the video on You Tube by searching Tim Tebow For God So Loved the World.




If this has some significance to you, please share.  Your story might be the reason for this post and have a meaning or influence someone else.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Little Brothers Are The Best



I always talk about the women in my family.

The title of my blog and big inspiration for my jewelry is the relationship between me and the women in my family.  I have and have had such strong female role models all throughout both sides of my family.  My sweetest memories are sitting around a table or a den with these women and learning and taking in their best qualities.  I learned to be independent and confident in my opinions because I had a "safe" place to express them.

I am always talking about the women, but I have been blessed with just as many strong men.  It's sometimes confused that a woman can't be independent and have respect for men.  I think that is really the idea in today's world. I was raised by men who taught me to speak up for myself.  I was the first grandchild on both sides and I have just never had the idea I couldn't do something just because I am a girl.

I am so thankful and blessed for the men I have and have had in my life.  My kids don't have a relationship with their dad or his side so I am even more so thankful that they have had these men to look up to and learn from.

One of the special men is my "little" brother.  He is 7 years younger than me but has always managed to take care of me as if he were a big brother.  Looking back at what at the time seemed like aggravating little brother stuff like telling on me was usually for my own good.  I just didn't see it until I got older.  He has filled in for my kids.  He's their uncle, but also their godfather.

He has twin boys who will soon be 15 and a little girl who is 8.  It's so funny when you see your siblings in your own kids.  My youngest is so much like my brother.  He is smart, thinks like him, and even looks a little like him.  He has certain mannerisms that are like flashbacks of my brother at his age.  I see a lot of me in his little girl.  She likes to wear comfortable things and doesn't like to fuss with her hair.  I still only like comfortable clothes, but when I was little I didn't like to wear anything in my hair either.  My mom would put barretts in my hair in elementary school and I would take them out when I got to school and put them back in when it was time to go home.  I thought I was so clever......until the yearbook came out......with candid shots of me.........without my barretts!

Today is my little brother's birthday and I couldn't be more proud of him as a man, father, and husband.  He has always had such a strong faith and it shows in everything he does and the way he lives his life.  I am so thankful for him and to him for still taking care of me when I need it!  As one of my mom's favorite sayings goes, "Not a lot has changed!"

He did go through a phase when he thought it was funny to give the bird.  This photo is from the 80's with him doing just that.  Around the time this picture was taken he was in my car with me.  I was in high school and pulled up to a red light next to a really "hot" guy from a local high school.  We had similar cars and he was trying to race, but my little brother was on his side in the passenger seat and took it as flirting.  In his protective little brother way, he kindly looked over and gave the guy the bird.  AND...... I was humiliated, but couldn't help laughing at the same time!






My brother in the middle, sister and her husband now (high school sweetheart then) on the left.  A good friend of ours is in front of me.  His son and my son are good friends.    I think this may be why I love the show The Goldbergs so much.  That boy can remind me of my brother at times.

This is one of my favorite pictures of him on his wedding day with my older son who was ring bearer.



Thursday, January 18, 2018

Thankful Thursday #28



I am so thankful for so many things everyday.


There's one thing, besides Christmas, that makes adult southerners act and feel like kids.  Something that causes all kind of excitement in the south......SNOW.

I realize everything shuts down and closes over what could be considered a dusting up north, but the south doesn't know how to handle snow because we don't get it that often.

We have some winters that not one snowflake makes a presence.  We don't have chains for tires, they would just take up space and collect dust in our garages.  We don't have the right clothing gear for snow either.  If you see a southerner buying heavy snow clothes, they are probably going on a skiing trip...out of state....up north.


We had what we consider a large amount of snow in early December.  It had been warm so without the ground or roads being cold, it didn't cause much trouble.  It did stick around for a few days, though, because we got so much.  We have had really cold weather for days now.  If it had been as cold as it has been lately when we got the snow in December, Georgia would have been shut down and closed for a week.

We were told we had a chance of snow Tuesday, but the weather is so tricky here we don't always believe it.  They kept saying it was coming, just not a whole lot.  I went to bed Tuesday night at midnight with nothing and woke up to a decent amount of snow yesterday morning.

I am thankful for those rare snow days in the south where it is pretty and schools and businesses are closed and we get to stay in all day.  My kids are all in college.  They live at home and commute to a local university, but they are always on the go.  It's not often we are all home at the same time so I love days where they are stuck in!

I enjoyed them being home and cooked dinner for everyone, but I did make a couple of "snow day" inpsired earrings.


I think we enjoy it more in the south because it doesn't last long and we don't have to shovel our way out of our homes.  It's fun snow without all the work.  It begins melting fast and a big snow event for us is inches.  Things shut down and we get a "vacation."  Up north everything keeps going and more work is added because of so much white stuff.

The dark blue Sapphire beads and light "ice" blue Aquamarine beads have a winter look with hearts for upcoming Valentine's Day.

Sapphire and Aquamarine Sterling Silver Threader Earrings
















THEN....... we get antsy around here and are ready for Spring the day after Christmas so I also have sunny yellow and flower earrings for Spring.

Extremely Rare Ceylon AAA Orange Padparadscha Sapphire Sterling Silver Flower Earrings















These dainty, wonderful little Sapphires are rare enough in their usual Fanta Orange color, but these are definitely a find in the clear, more yellow color.

We just don't see snow often, so when we do it causes all kinds of giddiness.  (Is that a word?!) And, a shortage of bread, milk, and eggs.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

It's Raining Men



It's Raining Men

Well, men's bracelets.

And, thankfully it isn't really raining here.

There's no better light for pictures than natural light.  I have really pretty light that comes through my house at different times of the day.  The time change took away one of my favorite places to make pictures of my jewelry.  We had some overcast days and rain last week so I had a hard time getting pictures I was happy with.  Today is really pretty outside.  It's cold, but the sun is out.

I have been going to make bracelets for men out of new beads I got, but haven't gotten to until today.  The beads are so much fun!  They look good, but they are really unusual and will look fashionable, but be conversation pieces at the same time.

The first three I have listed are these.

Two are made with ebony wood beads and one with Madre de Cacao.  All of them have a 925 Sterling Silver hollow iron cross bead.  The other beads are Rainforest Rhyolite, Phantom Quartz, and Night Sky Blue Sandstone.

The Rainforest Rhyolite are also called Australian Rainforest Jasper.  They look like aerial views of a tropical rainforest because of the colors.  They are volcanic rock and have the colors, design, and variations because the lava cooled too fast and/or there were air bubbles.

Rainforest Rhyolite














It is so amazing to me the beauty that forms right in our earth and because of the earth and its functions.

The Phantom Quartz beads are very mysterious looking.  They are formed by quartz forming over quartz and you can see pre-existing forms.  That is the phantom or "ghost" of the earlier formations.  They are so pretty and look like little terrariums.

Phantom Quartz












The next is Night Sky Blue Sandstone (Goldstone).  These gorgeous round beads look like a globe of the night sky.  The sparkles inside look like stars.

Blue Sandstone










I am listing these two bracelets later today.  One is with Moldavite. They look like green glass and are formed by meteorite impacts on the earth.













The other is Dragon Blood Jasper.  The are a member of the quartz family.  They are red and green and found in Australia where legend has it that there were dragons and this stone is from the skin (green) and blood (red) of dragon remains.











I don't know, I have two boys (well, men, they are now 19 and 21) and I have 5 nephews.  I know some guys appreciate beautful jewelry, but most guys I know would also like the story behind the stones in these bracelets.

I happen to find it pretty cool too!


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Thankful Thursday #27



I am so thankful for so many things everyday.

Need a Valentine's Day or February birthday gift?

I have always felt blessed to have a February birthday. It's not the easiest month to spell and it's the shortest, but I like it.  My grandfather and daughter also have February birthdays.  In fact, theirs is the same day!

One of the reasons I have always loved having a birthday in February is because it is a week before Valentine's Day and I had a lot of my birthdays growing up with that theme.  I don't like clowns and never have been one to follow the crowd having whatever is popular at the moment for my theme.  What is better than a birthday of love, hearts, and pink?!  I know red is the official color for Valentine's Day, but pink and purple are the co-stars.

I have been working on jewelry for Valentine's Day and I have definitely brought in all three colors.  Amethyst being the birthstone for February has helped me validate using the color purple for Valentine's Day.  These pieces can also make you look extra thoughtful.

I have incorporated Ruby, Amethyst, and Aquamarine.  This way you are giving a Valentine's Day gift for someone special with their birthstone also if they have a February, March, or July birthday.

My birthday month happens to go along with the hearts, but if you like one of the pieces but need a different birthstone to go with the hearts, just message me on my Etsy shop or at sweetteaandsistersjewelry@gmail.com. 

While I am thankful for being born in the month known for LOVE, it can be confusing for some........my name is April.  My parents always tease and say it was so cold when I was born, they wished it was April!  I can remember some of my birthday parties being cancelled because of snow.  My brother's birthday is the end of January and it seems like every year growing up it snowed on his birthday or mine.  I remember one birthday in elementary school it snowed and we had no power so we went and stayed with my aunt and uncle and cousins.  My party got cancelled, but I still remember how much fun we had at my aunt's house.  I got the game Hungry Hungry Hippo and we played it over and over!

Here are some of the new things I have made and will be listing soon!

I love this look!  Oxidized Sterling Silver with a Ruby bead and Sterling Silver heart charms.





This is so dainty.  There are two Sterling Silver hearts on the side and three Red Labradorite Andesine beads.




So simple, but elegant.  Ruby pink raspberry Sapphires with Karen Hill Tribe Rose Gold Vermeil Style beads and a Sterling Silver heart.




This necklace covers February (Amethyst), July (Ruby), on the side with a 925 Sterling Silver Flower bead and March (Aquamarine) hanging with a 925 Sterling Silver rectangle with cut out heart charm.











Gorgeous Amethyst Sterling Silver Earrings








Rich looking Ruby and 925 Sterling Silver 24k Gold Vermeil Style Heart Charms Earrings





 With Love,
     ~April





Saturday, January 6, 2018

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Need a piece of jewelry to pretend it's Spring???

When I am cold and wearing a jacket, you know it's cold outside.

I stay hot and hate to wear a jacket so when I put one on the temperature is definitely low!  I always get in trouble with my grandmother if it is cold and she sees me without a coat.  It is my age, but I have a door that goes to our deck from the kitchen and there are moments when I open the door for a second in the winter just to cool off.

That hasn't happened this week.  In fact, I have turned up the heat.  This "Bomb Cyclone" thing that is happening on the East coast is so crazy.  I have never heard of anything like it. But, then again, we had a hurricane reach North Georgia this Fall so I guess anything goes!

I have stayed in and enjoyed working on new pieces with new materials.  I know Christmas is over, but the green in this pair of Chrome Diopside Sterling Silver earrings represents the green of Spring......which can't get here fast enough!  I even have pretty Sterling Silver flowers to at least dream of warmer weather.

Chrome Diopside Flower Sterling Silver Earrings







I also made these pretty pieces.  The Blue Crazy Lace Agate beads are so pretty up against the orange Moonstone beads.  I also love the way the necklaces turned out!  The "Om" White Topaz Pendant can get us through the cold.  (Click on any title to go straight to the listing.)


Blue Crazy Lace Agate Orange Moonstone Sterling Silver Earrings








Orange Peach Moonstone Bar Necklace with Pave Diamond Spacer on 14k Gold Filled Chain








"Om" White Topaz Charm Oxidized Sterling Silver Chain with Garnet and Opal Necklace









And, this might be my favorite.


Pave Diamond Cross Charm with Opals on an Oxidized Sterling Silver Chain







                 ~ Stay warm, y'all!