Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Missing the Sea

I don't know if it's because I'm a Navy brat and grew up by the water or what, but if I've been away from the ocean too long I start to get very depressed.  My soul just needs it, to see the water stretch out forever, to smell the salt in the air, to feel the breeze against my skin, through my hair.  It soothes the soul, to see, to know how very small we are in reality... how small our troubles are in comparison to the great sea.  Which for me has always symbolized God's greatness, his love for us... cheesy?  Perhaps.  But it is how I've felt as long as I can remember :).  So here I sit, longing for the sea...

In my longing I've decided to get busy creating.  I will be attending my very first craft show on July 9th!  I'm so excited, Charissa and I will be sharing a table at Crazy Daze in Albany, Oregon.  So if any of you are going to be around... you should come see us!  :)  I am posting some of the stuff in my Etsy... so feel free to check it out! I'll share a few of my latest here... and there will be new ones added tomorrow!  Let me know what you think :)

So?  What do you think?
I'm totally in love with this style of pendant... they are like little sun-catchers... they catch the light and burst into colors.  Absolutely gorgeous, I've worn mine and gotten compliments at the grocery store! :)  And last but not least... I've decided to have custom awareness bracelets.  One form with some options.  These are in honour of my grandparents, two of which already passed away due to cancer... and the other two who are currently struggling with it.  I'm using Choose Hope's list of colors for cancers, so all you have to do is tell me which type of cancer and I will match the color in swarovski crystals.  Also I'm offering two options for clasp, a twisted toggle or a lobster.  Both are fabulously sturdy and very attractive :)  I am donating 5% of the proceeds to the Etsy Project Embrace team which you can check out:
and the story of how they got started is here:

I'm so excited to be part of it, these are amazing people :)  http://www.etsy.com/listing/76745689/sweetest-fire-necklace?ref=v1_other_2

And here's the bracelet:

It took me ages to decide what sort of beads to use... I wanted something subtle, different, earthy.  Warm?  I wanted warmth.  Because these bracelets... what they stand for is hope.  Hope that together we can find a cure for cancer.  All cancer.  Someday, but only if we band together.  Click on any of the photos above to be taken to the listings.  I hope you guys enjoy my latest work as much as I did creating it.  Happy Tuesday everyone!  I will try and write a bit more later this week :)  Oh!  And in case you don't all know, we have a FB page and I give away at least one bracelet a month!  So tell your friends!  LOL.


Monday, June 20, 2011


Life has the strangest way of derailing you.  You think that everything is humming along for once and then... then the road twists.  My grandmother has been ill off and on a long time, she started out with liver cancer years ago and they were able to "take care" of that.  Which we were all very grateful for.  Not long enough after that she found out she had breast cancer, but, blessedly, they were able to "take care" of that as well.  Two weeks ago she went in because she was having trouble breathing and they ended up draining a pint of blood from her lungs. While investigating the cause they discovered more cancer, I'm still unclear on exactly how everything works... but I'm under the impression it is rogue liver cancer in her lungs.  The doctor(s) then told her that she only has six months to live.

Now, I know, that when they say six months that is... an estimate?  She could live more?  She could live less.  I don't know.  I really just don't.  For many years now I have been wrapped up in my own little family unit.  I haven't spent much time with my extended family because, well, little children are hard to travel with.  And money has been scarce.  But I do plan to see her as much as I can, because I do love her very much... I want to be there for her.  I want my children to be able to spend time with her as well.  She's an incredible woman, one I've always greatly admired.

So, last Friday, we went up to Kirkland where she lives and visited with her.  It's not a short drive, with the kids it generally takes five to six hours.  It was a wonderful visit.  My children loved spending time with her and my Auntie Gretchen, my cousin Suzanne and her husband, Jeff.  Grandma told me stories about my Dad, about her family, we looked at old photos... it was what I hoped it would be.  I hope we can do it again soon.

Unfortunately, while we were up visiting, my husband's grandmother passed away.  It has been very difficult for him, and I am sad that we weren't able to spend more time with her.  That two of our three children never had a chance to meet her.  Another incredible woman, she will be greatly missed.  We will be going down to Sacramento for a memorial?  We hope?  Or at least to visit his grandfather and other relatives, next month after his summer classes finish.

All in all... it has been a very rough couple of weeks.  There have been high points and low, like any other, but some of the lows have been very low indeed.  All of these things have slowed down my production a bit, but I do hope to be working more normally now.  If nothing else, working keeps me busy.  Busy is good when you feel otherwise helpless.  I will try to post another, hopefully more cheerful, blog soon :)  Have a wonderful week everyone!

~~~ Jenn

Monday, June 6, 2011

Brighter Than the Sun

It has arrived!  Let the heralds proclaim it, summer has arrived in my little part of the great Pacific Northwest!  And yes, I am cheering ;)  It was over eighty degrees the last two days, which usually I'm not a huge fan of temperatures that high... but I haven't been able to get warm lately, so it was nice to feel warm all the way down to my bones at last.  Unfortunately my younger daughter wasn't able to enjoy the sunshine properly, she spent the weekend fighting a high fever.  We did spend some time laying under the tree in our backyard in the shade though, she seemed to enjoy that.  Hopefully she'll be back to normal soon, she seems to be feeling much better today.  

I have three custom order bracelets that I'm dying to get to work on... but one of my bead suppliers is very backed up and hasn't sent out my order yet.  I'm quite disappointed, I've been waiting for over a week and I'm not very good at waiting.  Perhaps this will teach me to become more patient ;).  Hey, it could happen!  In order to give my needy hands something to do on I stopped in a local place briefly and picked up a set of Vintaj findings to play with.  I am really excited about the necklace that resulted!  Anyone who knows me will tell you that I love old things... and old is rather relative, of course, but anything vaguely vintage strikes a chord with me.  One of my favorite periods for inspiration is the Victorian period, which tends to influence my brass pieces heavily.  Brass just has that glowing warmth that evokes the beauty of an older time for me.  So this necklace, I'm rambling, I know, has something about it that is just classically beautiful.  It's a bit Victorian, a bit Jane Austen, and maybe even a bit forties.  I've called it Sweet Jane in honour of the amazing Jane Austen herself, I think it's a heroine worthy necklace ;)  I love all of the cape amethyst, it has this soft, dreamy quality.  The polka dot agate is warm and creamy and I have become more than a bit enamored with wood beads.  They are not only deliciously light, but add an amazing richness to anything they are in.

I've also been pondering a bracelet with black and hot pink... I wanted something both very rocker and very feminine.  It's taken me a few weeks of pondering, but I love what resulted.  I took these fabulous snowflake obsidian rounds and paired them with some faceted pink ruby jade rondelles.  I considered leaving it with just those two types of stones... but couldn't resist the urge to liven it up a bit with some white opalescent stone and some faceted black stone.  I hand wrapped a pair of hot pink and black dangles and added the cutest little pewter star and... voila!  Rocker Chick was born :)  

I'm so loving it!

I have two wedding-inspired pieces that should be up this week, a bracelet and earrings.  Oh!  And I'm going to be doing a few patriotic pieces for the Fourth of July as well!  Keep an eye on my shop :)  And feel free to join the Facebook page if you haven't, I do contests/drawings at least once a month!  Have a fantastic week everyone!