A little bit of life, love, and artisan jewelry but mostly the

Home of the Confused Muse..

Where you will find the meadering thoughts of an actively artistic brain - as well as my latest creations, events, soapboxes, dramas, crisis, blessings, and life in general.

This is also the home of "ChrissyMarie Jewelry and Accessories", named for my daughter! Twenty-Five Percent of all sales from this line are donated to B.I.T.S. aka "Better in the Saddle", a local non-profit Equine Assisted Therapy Program ....because we KNOW horses help make miracles!


December 31, 2009

Celebrating my Dad's big day!

Today my Dad is celebrating his 86th birthday...wow! 

We never know how long we'll have our loved ones with us.  I've been especially blessed-I still have both of my parents here on earth with me.  I don't take that for granted...ever. 

You see, my parents adopted me when I was six years old.  Rescued would be a more descriptive word.  It hasn't always been easy or perfect but we survived...each other, life's unexpected surprises, and the roller coaster ride that all families experience.  We're just like any other family...a little dysFunctional but the love and support is something I can always count on.

I've "become" many things over the years just because I was blessed and allowed to become a part of this family... Daughter, Sister, Aunt, Wife, Mother, Grandmother.  Each step has made me the person I am today. Each experience has given my heart a chance to grow and expand. Each family member has enriched my life. 

Through it all, the good and the bad, the most beautiful moments and the ugliest, the most glorious and the most tragic...my Dad has been there.  He isn't perfect but then again he IS human. He survived ME and because of that I strongly suspect he has super powers he has yet to reveal :)

He has served God, Country, and Family.  He has survived "The Great Depression", World War II, a heart attack, the loss of his hearing, and many heartbreaks along the way.  He has been blessed with a sharp mind, a faith in God that never wavers, a marriage that has endured for 65 years, the parenting of a son and daughter, the birth four grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

Most importantly, for me at least, he has been my Dad.  He has loved me as his own.  It is admittedly selfish of me to make this claim. While it may not have been HIS greatest achievement in life it has been one of the greatest acts of love and kindness in MY life.

Thanks Dad for indulging me with love, patience, funding :), and understanding when I least deserved them.  I thank God every single day for the gift of YOU!

Happy Birthday :)

We're having a party!  A bead soup party!! How much fun is that?  To get all the info click on the invitation link below the photo and follow the instructions.  It's gonna be a hoot and a half :) 

November 28, 2009

Huge Cyber Sale....Save Your FEET...but don't wait for Monday!

I'm having a "doozy" of a sale in my Artfire Studio beginning on Sunday, November 29th..30% off almost every jewelry item in the studio.  This sale lasts two days only and you'll need to use the coupon code.  I guess it could be a bit of of a bother to look on the front page of my studio for the coupon but you ARE getting a 30% discount on unique, one of a kind, artisan made jewelry.  In fact, I've never run a sale like this...ever! 

The truth of the matter is I have a grandson now and I really, really, really NEED to send him some cool "Grandma Gifts" ...no not clothes (although there may be a few cute little outfits tucked in among the toys and books :) This is actually his second official Christmas but he kind of slept, ate, and made yucky diapers during his first.  This Christmas is the first one he will truly experience!  So come to my Studio and buy stuff so I can shop for my Grandson (he's absolutely the cutest!) and the rest of my family.  We starving artists need your help!  :)

I've added a few new sparkly things to my shop in the way of Snowflake Ornaments.  They are so pretty, available in a multitude of colors including Acid Green, Mocha Brown, Black, Purple, Aqua, Hot Pink and a soft Pearl Grey just to name a few!  There are two sizes to choose from and each comes in a pretty organza bag for gifting or storing away for safe keeping.  The best thing about decorating with snowflakes...it's a Winter thing...you won't have to pack them away until Spring arrives!  Hang them everywhere  - on packages, in your windows to catch the sunlight, or even as festive chain pulls on your lights and fans :)  I do love the sparkle of snow, don't you?  Oh, and did I mention FREE shipping on all Snowflake Ornaments purchased during the sale!?
(quickie disclaimer: free shipping in the Continental USA, Alaska, and Hawaii)

One more announcement! I'm offering gift wrap at a very affordable price. No matter what the occasion...Birthdays, Anniversaries, Promotions, and all of those Special Days throughout the year..these events continue no matter what the season. This little service is for those of us who are so busy we don't have time to wrap our gifts and for those who are, shall we say, "gift wrap challenged".  I'll bet you know a few of those people too!  I sure do and some of them live in my house :) 

Now, go browse, make a list, and get ready to place your order! You can even pay through PayPal or Amazon!  See something you would like to have for yourself?  Add it to your Amazon Wish List and send the list to whomever you think will grant YOUR wish!

In the meantime, ENJOY the holiday season!  Don't over-do, try to avoid stress, and remember what the CHRISTmas season is all about.  We've already been given the most precious gift of all! 

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy Shopping!

November 20, 2009

"New Moon" Movie Review and Jewelry

I confess, I'm an "edge of the crowd" fan of the the "Twilight" series of books.  I'm not a bleeding heart, drooling, full out addicted follower but I enjoyed the series.

Last night I took my daughter to see "New Moon" the second movie, based on the book.  It wasn't my favorite movie in the world but it certainly wasn't the worst.  Comparing it to "Twilight", the acting was better and the screenplay was much better, but the sprinkling of comical moments throughout was, in my opinion, the best and most important improvement.  I like to laugh and let's face it, life is funny sometimes. It's nice to see a sweet, exciting, teenage love triangle (bizarre as it may be) that isn't full of sex, foul language, and gore.  This movie has it's fair share of tragedy, teenage angst, and beautiful actors (Helloooo Taylor Lautner!) but this time the writers managed to blend in a bit of much needed humor and fun. 

I must admit I probably wouldn't have gone to a midnight movie release with anyone but my daughter.  Truthfully, I'm not a fan of movie theaters in general.  I'd rather wait for the DVD and watch the movie at home where I can be completely comfortable, but this "one time only" event was fun.  It's a memory she and I will share forever and those are hard to come by.

I did a search this morning for "New Moon" jewelry and found pretty much what I expected..several simple but sweet and inexpensive "movie photo" pieces, a large amount of cheap, tacky looking jewelry tagged as handmade that really isn't (adding a store bought chain to a mass produced pendant is not what I'd call handmade or handcrafted), and several nice handmade pieces that are pretty but didn't really catch my eye. However, I did find a couple of really pretty pieces worth sharing here.  I found both of them on ArtFire.com

The first is this pair of crystal earrings by a ArtFire artist "TwilighterVA". The earrings are aptly named  "Bella's Shattered Birthday Earrings"

You can purchase them here:

The second is this beautifully handmade set including a necklace and earrings featuring Sterling Silver and Moonstones by Arfire artist "t.bella" called One of a Kind Moonstone, Sterling, and FW Pearls Set.

You can purchase this set here!

Both of these are great examples of elegant, handmade style that "reflect" the mood of the movie and still allow you to wear them anytime!  My hat is off to these artists who truly know how to capture the moment and the memory with true handmade artistry!

November 18, 2009

Vitamin D Deficient?

I try to eat healthy, spend as much time outdoors as I possibly can, and stay up to date on the latest "stay healthy" information.  When my mother suggested I have my Vitamin D level checked I didn't think much about it.  I had my Vitamin D level checked a few years ago and it was "fine" according to my primary care doctor.

As many of you know I have a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and it's easy to attribute many of my physical and mental symptoms to that condition.  Recently I had a little health scare which required an MRI of the brain and a boat load of lab work.  All of the results available to my doctor earlier this week was A-OK!  Great news right? YeeHaw!

Today I got a call from my Neurologist office with the results from my Vitamin D test.  According to her office they like to see at least a level of 50 or more with optimal levels being around 80.  Now I'm not a doc so these numbers don't mean much to me.  I'm thinking "50 what"?  But I don't need to know the scientific breakdown to know that being within the "normal range" is a good thing.  As it turned out my lab results showed my Vitamin D level at 8.  Dangerously low.  Prescription required and retesting again in four months to make sure I'm at least back in the "normal range. 

"What happens if I'm not back within normal ranges?"  I ask.
The nurse says, "We take a more agressive approach."  
Hmmm.  What does that mean?  I don't know and right now it's not important to me.  One day at a time I'll deal with this but in the meantime I did a little research on my own.  Holy cow!  I had no idea how much trouble a body can experience when it is deficient in Vitamin D or how prevalent this condition is becoming in the general public! 

I've attached a web link to the title of this post.  Please take the time to read the article!  If you have any of these symptoms then I would strongly encourage you to talk to your doctor about having a simple blood test. 

This is not something you can "self-diagnose" but you must be self aware.  No one knows your body as well as you do but it's easy to assume that you're tired because of overwork, lack of sleep, or stress.  We like to think there is nothing seriously wrong.  But why take a chance when it's something that could be easily addressed? 

I'm climbing down off of my soapbox now :)  I know this is not what you might expect to read on this blog but sometimes I have to share information for the greater good.  If just one reader of this blog is helped because of this post then I've done something to help.  It will not sell my jewelry and it will not further the popularity of my designs, and it might be considered right down boring. So be it.

A shout out is required here to my mom....Thank you! You are hearby granted a pass to "gloat" (a little) and you have every right to say "I told you so!" Enjoy this moment Mom :)  You've earned it!

November 16, 2009

Oh Happy Day!

I just returned from a visit with my Neurologist.  She had GOOD news!  After a bit of a scare last week I had an emergency MRI of the ole brain and a bunch of lab work.  The results are in and all is well :)  Not normal but then again, I wasn't expecting "normal" :D  Afterall, who's to say what's normal and what's not?  I've never quite understood the word.  What's normal for me is never considered the same for anyone else...you can ask my mother!  She'll tell you I've never done anything the old fashioned way, whether it's my work, my life style, or my health.  It's good to be different!  My life is definitely interesting :)  Thank God!...and I mean that literally.  He knows I bore easily!
Live Joyfully!

November 12, 2009

Holiday Sparkle for Your Home!

I've added a few new items to my ArtFire Studio.  They aren't the usual jewelry items I generally sell but pretties for your Christmas tree, Holiday packages, or even to add a pretty sparkle to your window.  These are Snowflakes but they aren't all whitel or icy crystal...we get a lot of those naturally.  These snowflakes are available in many colors from Red to Peach, Purple to Blue.  Don't see a color you want?  They can be ordered in any color you prefer! 

Did I mention each snowflake arrives with a pretty handcrafted non-tarnishing silver hook?  They also come packaged in a lovely little white organza drawstring bag with just a touch of glitter.

Great little "teacher" gifts, or stocking stuffers, order two or three and be prepared for those unexpected gift giving ocassions! 

Hint: The great thing about Snowflakes?  You don't have to pack them away after Christmas...they can stay out all winter long!

November 09, 2009

Just two more days to save!

Big 20% off sale on all items in my ArtFire Studio! Use coupon code "IndianSummer09" at check out to get the discount. Sale ends at midnight November 11, 2009! Start shopping for the holidays now!

Wouldn't these earrings be just perfect for your holiday festivities?

November 08, 2009

Indian Summer Sale in my ArtFire Studio!

SAVE 20.00 % On
All Items
Use Coupon Code:
during checkout.

November 02, 2009

And the Facebook Fan Page Winners are.......

A short while ago I announced that five names would be drawn from the first 100 of my Facebook Fans and each would receive a FREE pair of earrings!  Well the names have been drawn and the winners are:

Christianne de Vries
Jon Young
Nancy Gant
Jenelle Aubade
Neal W. Rohrbach


Stay tuned for the next give away! 

Giveaway! (Please read entire post)

Giveaway! (Please read entire post)

October 31, 2009

Wow! I have a piece featured in the Etsy Top 10!

This bracelet made it to the Etsy Top 10 list!  I just happened upon it and what a thrill!  Unfortunately my Etsy shop is on vacation but you can still find the "Autumn Fire" bracelet in my ArtFire Studio!
Autumn Fire Crystal Bracelet  You'll find all kinds of pretty autumn inspired jewelry there! 

October 22, 2009

October Rain

I was watching it rain on this dreary, cold October morning. Still warm and cozy in my PJ’s with a mug of hot coffee in my hand, I was not looking forward to getting out or worse yet, getting wet.    

Of course staying inside where it's warm and dry is not an option when you're daughter works in a horse stable and you are the designated driver for the day. Horses and livestock have to be fed. Period. She made a commitment. Period. I was feeling a little grumpy about it. They aren’t even my horses! Harrumph!

Being the Mom I am and determined to teach my girl “by example”, we got dressed and off we went in the pouring rain. Poor kid, I drove her crazy all the way to the barn, "Have you got a rain coat?" "What did you pack in your lunch?" "Will you be warm enough?" “Are those boots going to keep your feet dry?" (Oh noooo! She forgot her muck boots! Bad mommy! Bad mommy!) She endured my questions with her usual ruffle proof attitude. Finally, I released my prisoner and started the drive back home in hard rain, heavy traffic, and sporting a bad attitude. Harrumph!!

Then I noticed the trees, the fields, and all the COLOR! In spite of the rain, it was pretty. Ok, more than pretty, it was gorgeous! I started thinking about the trees and bushes around me, making a mental note of which ones I wanted to be sure and photograph later today. My mood started to improve. Begrudgingly, I decided life was not a complete "pit".

Now that I'm back home, wide awake, and inside my warm house, a second cup of java close at hand, I've been looking at my yard. It is looking decidedly flamboyant!

Ahhh! Fall! It is time to enjoy the smell of wood smoke from a nearby fireplace, hot cider, and crisp, juicy apples. It is time to enjoy the nip in the air, whirling leaves, raking the lawn, and preparing the house for winter.

It is that time of year in Missouri when the dogs race around the yard with reckless and joyful abandon just because it feels good to be cool and not drowning in the humidity of summer. Suddenly I realized I am looking forward to laughing as they attack the “monster leaf rakes” invading their territory and barking at “critters” in the nearby woods still unseen but noisily revealed by crunching leaves.

Hmmm. I had forgotten. I love this season with all of its brilliant color, cool days and cold nights, and yes, I even love October rain.

Oh! I remember now what it is I really do not enjoy. It’s MORNING! I am not a morning person and that is a non-seasonal malady. Harrumph!

October 13, 2009

I am a “Dory”

A woman said this to me the other day..."You remind me of that little fish in the movie "Finding Nemo"...You know the one that can't remember anything.  She swims around in circles, lost but happy."

Wow, she's right! I am a "Dory". I watched a couple of YouTube clips and realized how much Dory and I have in common. 

I like Dory.  I liked her when the movie came out and I like her now that I can relate to her "condition" :)  She is smart little fish but she has a little "short term memory" problem. Hmmm, I know all about that.

Dory is happy in spite of her memory problems.  Me too.

I have always had A.D.D. (attention deficit disorder). Since the brain injury, it has become "A.D.D. on Steroids - but without the steroids", as my neurologist is fond of saying.  Take a little Vyvanse and I'm good to go...now if I could just remember where I was going and what I was going to do when I got there!

They say I have lost my "execution skills".  I didn't know I was ever capable of executing anyone!  Ahhh, not "Execution" but execution, as in executing a task, getting things done, arriving on time, planning and actually doing what I planned.  I get it now; I just can't DO anything about it.  ARGH!

Just when I thought I had things figured out, a new wrench shows up.  Now, I like tools. Tools are my friends, in fact, I'm kind of a tool junky... but I am not big on wrenches. 

Another thing I have forgotten.  Numbers.  Math was never my favorite subject but I managed to use it well enough to work as an office manager, home manager, family manager, and in my jewelry business. We use numbers everyday for most everything we do.  I had not really thought about this until I lost the ability to use or remember them.  Try spending one day without using numbers. Here's the catch: you must continue to track your money, tell time, remember a phone number, pay a bill, drive, schedule an appointment, order a prescription, cook, or any of the gazillion other tasks you perform each day. 

I can still DO math I just cannot remember the numbers needed to do the problem much less remember the answer long enough to use it.  So much for calculating ANYTHING in my head or using a calculator, that doesn't have a "print" option. I have a calendar application and a good old-fashioned notepad and pen...now if I could just remember how to access them it would be great!

Visual Memory: able to be perceived as a picture in the mind rather than as an abstract idea. In other words, the ability to recognize everyday things. You see it, you recognize it, and you know how to use it or at the very least, you can remember what it is or how it's used.  Examples: the coffee maker you use every day, your computer, cell phone or a traffic light. 

I have a little problem with my visual memory.  The examples above are the items that present the biggest challenges on a daily basis.  I must admit to running out to buy a cup of coffee when I cannot remember how to use my coffee maker.  My computer, thankfully, has a "mind" of its own and can pretty much run without my help unless it goes into sleep mode and I can't remember how to wake it up. 

My cell phone is my lifeline.  I use the calendar option, all the alarms, bells, whistles and ring tones it can offer just to keep me on track throughout the day. That is common in this age of technology. Using it to remind me to eat, take my medication, brush my teeth, leave the house for an appointment, make a phone call, wash a load of laundry, dry a load of laundry, etc., etc., etc.....My entire "life" is on that phone in the most literal sense of the word. When memory runs low in my cell phone, I know I'm in trouble.

You can only imagine how scary it is to drive with Visual Memory impairment! I have a navigator…my daughter. She is better than a GPS when it comes to giving me verbal cues. She understands the need to use few but very easily processed directions. Stop, go, right, left, yes, no…the only vocabulary required from a personal navigator. Yes, I do depend on my GPS, especially after finding myself completely lost in a few unsafe neighborhoods. My GPS doesn't see the yellow caution light up ahead or clear her throat to let me know the red light has changed to green. My GPS is great at "recalculating" directions after I've missed a turn but it doesn't say, "it's okay Mom, you can turn around and go back." My GPS requires a computerized update, my daughter does not. Besides, my daughter is always a better companion. When the GPS can't "see" the street I'm driving on I can always depend on my human navigator to assure me it's really there!

Technology is a wonderful thing. I cannot imagine my life without the help of the internet, cell phones, computers, and coffee makers! However, there are limits to what technology can do. Lending comfort or offering a friendly reminder is not within the realm of my universe. While I do not like the changes in my brain or the ways it processes information I am grateful everyday for my ever reliable human navigator and the way my challenges have enhanced our relationship.

Now if I could just remember my name…


September 14, 2009

Don't Worry!

It seems I always feel inspired to write on Sunday.  I think it is because I get inspired on Sunday...by God, great friends, and family members.  On Sunday, one of the few days I take a break from my life to focus on rest and praise these thoughts seem to flow....

Today we talked about worry...how we worry, why we worry, when we worry, and how ridiculous it is in the "big picture" to worry at all.  I've thought for a long time that worry - the very act of worry - is an insult to God. 

For me, a natural born worry-wart, it's an art.  I was born to worry!  However, I learned an important lesson several years ago when both of my children were out of town, in situations outide of my control, and in the hands of people I really didn't know but had decided to trust.  I asked God to take care of them, trusted Him to protect them, and then continued to worry anyway. It didn't work out very well. 

Both of my children fell into seriously difficult situations at almost exactly the same time.  Both were well beyond my physical reach to help or comfort them. I felt completely helpless and frustrated beyond imagination!  I got angry....at God, the people I had trusted to care for them, and the people who were hurting my children.  Two different cities, completely different circumstances, and all I could do was cry, worry, get angry, cry, worry some more, and get angrier.  I even got angry with my husband because he could sleep and wasn't as frantic as I was.  How could he possilby rest when our children were in trouble! 

I reached a state of hysteria and finally had a little "come to Jesus" talk with God.  I told him how disappointed I was in Him and how betrayed I felt because after all, I had entrusted my children to Him!  I can only imagine how that must have been received and it grieves me to admit my lack of faith. I must have been out of my mind. In fact, I know I was. It was the first time I had ever felt truly abandoned by God...and the last.

  The next day I started receiving phone calls from complete strangers offering help to my children.  I was able to speak with each of my children and realized they felt a kind of buffer surrounding them. They felt God.  He was with them and He was caring for them. Yes, they were still frightened and needed our help but truthfully, they were much more calm and in control than I.  It was then I realized the fault was mine.  I may have said I trusted God to care for my children and I may have asked Him to protect them but I didn't let go - really let go and let God do the job.  I thought He needed my help.  I thought I could do a better job! What foolish arrogance!

God doesn't like it when we worry.  In fact, I really believe he's insulted by it.  When we worry we're telling Him, "I don't trust you to take care of me, my family, my friends, my job, my life!" and then we turn around and insult Him even more by declaring our supreme abiltity to do all of these things better than He.  Of course, when going through big drama it's hard to shrug and turn the burden over to anyone we don't fully trust to be singly capable of handling the job.  We are always better at fixing these problems.  There is a real irony in this thinking.  If we're so great at handling our problems, how did they get to be problems at all and why aren't they already "fixed".  Because God fixes things. Saying we trust God is easy.  Actually giving it over to God, giving up all control, especially when it comes to our children,  is the most difficult part of faith.

I asked God to forgive me for my arrogance and lack of faith, my harsh words, and my stupidity.  I know He granted that request simply because I confessed and asked, but more importantly, because He loves me...even when I'm stupid and faithless and arrogant.

I've gotten better at letting go.  I don't worry much anymore.  I still have to fight the urge, the need to control, and the pride.  I have to fight my natural instincts and that is what I believe faith is all about.  It's believing you CAN let go even when your instincts and common sense tell you to hold on.

When my son was a little boy the movie "Cocktail" was in theatres. The music was all over local radio stations but I had never heard the songs...or maybe I was just too busy to listen.  He came home from school one day and I heard him humming a tune I didn't recognize.  When I asked him about it he just started singing the words.  He knew each word but the most important were "Don't Worry, Be Happy!"  I thought it was cute, funny and incredibly sweet.

I still hear those words in my head today but now I know just how true they are. I don't have the power to  live this life alone.  Now. Today. Tomorrow.  I choose to live them and believe it is truly possible.

and I hear Him whisper......"Don't worry.  Be happy."

September 09, 2009

A wonderful new artist on Etsy...

This brand new Etsy shop belongs to my wonderfully talented friend Jan! Check out her very first listing! She creates amazing Paper Art! It's just too bad she couldn't show all 20 pages of this recipe album. They are each and every one gorgeous and unique! She has only one listing so far but her little shop is getting ready to GROW! Give her a warm welcome :) (clapping....)

September 08, 2009

My son is a Nerdy Llama!

My son has a new website and marketing design site! He really can help you make your dreams come true! Tell him "your Mama sent me!" so he'll know I'm out here rooting for him :)

Truthfully? Son or not, I wouldn't promote this company if I didn't believe in the quality and value available. I'm incredibly impressed with the work he and his partners do at Nerdyllama.com. They have fresh, new, innovative ideas for all types of Internet marketing. If you're looking for a new look or an upgrade at an affordable price; let them show you what they can do!

Kraken's Treasure

Check out this new listing in my ChrissyMarie shop on Etsy! If your a fan of the movie series "Pirates of the Caribbean" you'll love this Kraken necklace. This is just one in a series that will be coming soon. If you have special shells, charms or treasures I can make a custom pendant just for you!

September 06, 2009

It's been an Amazing two weeks!

Wow! In two weeks time I have experienced such a myriad of events. I'm almost speechless...and that is very rare for me.

Let's see....

1. Evidently I've been in the "lost and found" box for about 40 years. I was adopted when I was a wee child and have recently been found by ten siblings I had no idea existed.

2. I am of French Canadian descent and I've been pronouncing my last name incorrectly for the last 50 years. For those of you who speak "Missouri French" the name "Thibeault" is NOT pronounced "thigh-bolt" but "T-bo" (right?)

3. I am surrounded by a group of women who are truly amazing and inspiring!

4. Sciatica is NOT fun and IS very painful.

5. I'm married to "Rip Van Winkle" at least until he get used to being back at work on a full time job...hard for us "old people".

6. I'm helping launch a new Equine Therapy group-another passion of mine...if you're interested in helping or donating to the cause contact me!

7. I've decided to return to my free-lance journalistic roots and write a book...actually one of several if all goes as planned. People have been urging me to do this for years. I think it's time.

8. I have an incredibly blessed life! (not news really but it's nice to be reminded..)

9. And last but not least, business is picking up...Yea!

I think that's everything. It sure seems like a lot in a short period of time! A friend told me the other day "They ride the roller coaster of my life with me". Yep! That's a pretty darned good description!

Have a great week my friends. Live life joyfully!

September 03, 2009

Cheyenne, Carved Poppy Jasper Pendant Necklace

I've just listed this wonderful Poppy Jasper Pendant Necklace in my Art Fire Store. It's absolutely gorgeous and perfect for the upcoming fall season.

The pendant is a large carved leaf and it's beautifully detailed. I added a pretty beaded stone necklace to enhance to leaf using Tiger Iron, Red Jasper, Bali Silver, and Hematite.

(Please note: Hematite is a man made stone. Natural Hematite is no longer readily available. It is seldom found in it's natural form so. This is not Magnetized Hematite. )

If you're wondering how I came to call this piece "Cheyenne" please check out the shop listing. This piece is dear to my heart because of the child it was made to honor. Most of you who know me also know that I have a very special place in my heart for adopted, abused, neglected and/or abandoned children. I have recently made a series of leaf necklaces, each named for a child I love. What better way to honor the challenges of a child who is in the process of building a new life!

July 26, 2009

It's a Beautiful Sunday Morning!

It's bright and beautiful this morning! I hope you enjoy this gorgeous day and spend it reflecting on the BLESSINGS in your life. Whether it's praising God in a building filled with music and uplifting words or from your sunlit deck with a cup of coffee, remember to give thanks!

I would be in my tiny little church this morning except for a tiny little kidney stone that feels much bigger than it really is. "This too shall pass." Hopefully without help or a trip to the hospital. In the meantime, I am determined to be thankful it is not something much worse. I am determined to remember that Jesus suffered much more than I ever will and he would have done it just for me had I been the only one alive to receive the most precious of gifts.

I'm not here to preach. I'm here to praise an audience of one. He is the only one and I'm thankful for each day I am still here, alive and able to create, write, speak, breathe.......

Live joyfully! I try to live by that mantra. Some days are harder than others. Some days I let others influence my thoughts, my feelings, my attitude. Some days I let my health and physical pain guide my actions. That's when I hunker down and pray to be lifted up. He never fails me.

So today, while I wait for this stone to pass and the pain to ease I will remember that I am blessed to be here, at home, with my laptop, a cup of coffee, and the sun shining down from a beautiful sky.

I thank God.

July 15, 2009

I'm Teaching Again

I just confirmed the dates for my fall class schedule! I'll be teaching at the Genevieve Flynn Studio in the Art District of Kansas City, MO. Genevieve is a wonderful artist in her own right, creating the most beautiful jewelry and an assortment of other fine things to add to your home wish list.

I met Genevieve several years ago but finally took her Beginning Silversmith Class last year. What a great investment! She is a superb instructor, has a wonderful personality, and is incredibly willing to help her students. She also hosts "First Friday" events each month featuring local artists and their work.

Genevieve has graciously offered the use of her studio for my classes. Although I won't be teaching Silversmith classes (heaven forbid!), I will be teaching classes in Wire Wrapping from the very most basic techniques to more involved pieces and some that are just fun and fairly easy to learn.

I'm including photos here of just a few of the items that can be made in my classes. Please visit Genevieve's website for a complete listing of classes available, the dates, fees, and more by clicking on this link: http://www.genevieveflynn.com/genevieveflynn.com/ or the title of this post.

Join us in class! I promise you'll have a blast and go home with a great piece you'll be proud to show your friends!!

Beginning Wire Work I

The most basic class. I was once told that you must be "brilliant at the basics" to become the best at what you try to achieve. That's what this class is all about. The tools, choosing the right wire for your project, safety, and basic wire sculpture. You'll make a bracelet similar to the one shown here. It's great worn just as you see it here or even better...add charms or bead drops to dress it up! Fun and informative. This is the first class in the series and required for those having no prior experience in wire wrapping.

Beginning Wire Work II

The next step in wire wrapping! You'll learn to make beautiful wire wrapped loops, add beads and other items to your work as well as make basic earrings, coils, simple handmade clasps to compliment your work and a whole new bag of tricks! This class will open up your world of wire wrapping to a new level of competency. Necklaces, bracelets, earrings, all are suddenly available limited only by your imagination.

Little Brown Nest Pendant or Ring

This little brown nest is one of my favorite projects to make. Complete with three sweet little eggs this piece can be worn as a pendant or with just a few changes be transformed into a ring. You could even make earrings to match. Chain shown is not included but an assortment of cords and chains will be available for purchase if you like. You get to choose your "eggs" from an assortment of beads available in class. This piece is from the "Chrissy Marie" line.

Nested Pearl Ring

Funky or fabulous, this ring is a real stand out and a favorite of my clients. You'll get to choose from an assortment of large Swarovski glass pearls and beads as well as the type of metal wire you prefer. Make just one or make a few! These are great gifts for friends as

Wire Wrapped Stone Donut Pendant
No, they aren't edible but they are just delicious!
Choose a stone donut from a large selection and then start choosing the beads, stones, pearls, or charms you'll need to embellish the stone. Make it as simple or ornate as you want! Size, shapes, and stone colors will vary so be sure to get to class on time so you get to pick your favorites!
Each pendant includes a champagne or black satin cord so you can wear it home. These are fun and surprisingly easy to make. If you're a bit unsure about choosing your own beads.....a few ready made kits will be available as well.

June 10, 2009

Lilacs in Glass Photo Pendant

This pendant is from my latest line of glass jewelry and magnets. I used my own photo of lilacs from my very own lawn and cropped it for use here. I love the icy freshness the glass adds to the overall appearance. I just listed it on my website. Take a look at it and let me know what you think. I'd love to get your feedback!
Note: These are difficult to photograph because the photo is under 1/2" thick glass. It makes the edges appear blurry when in fact they are quite clear. Any suggestions would be welcome!

May 27, 2009

Sparkling Sangria Earrings

Sparkling Sangria Earrings

Just listed these luscious beauties on my website. Aren't they pretty?
All Swarovski and Sterling Silver! I think it's time for a little party!

May 25, 2009

"Marina's Treasure" Pearl and Gemstone Necklace

I just listed this necklace on my new website! It's luscious and interesting and just gorgeous!

Come check it out and let me know what you think!

May 22, 2009

Lily of the Valley

Good morning! I've been taking a lot of photographs lately of things especially dear to me...it's become quite obvious that would include most flowers, plants, trees, animals, birds,....you get my drift. All of nature inspires me! When I see the glory around me I just can' t help but feel in awe.

I'm using my photos in a new way of late. I'll be listing new items later today! Keep watching your mail...

For now, enjoy this Lily of the Valley with your morning coffee..it's so sweet you won't even need to add sugar!
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May 18, 2009

My little bird is being featured in an Etsy Treasury!

How fun is this! I just heard that one of my little feathered friends from my "Chrissy Marie" shop on Etsy was featured in a Treasury today! I'd kind of hoped he'd fly right around the neck of some new graduate and inspire them to "Soar! through life but I do believe he looks right at home amongst his friends from the Christian Artists Street Team! Thanks for checking it out and the rest of the really wonderful art featured as well!

May 17, 2009

Making changes....

Hey! I'm alive and still kicking! Actually, I have been buried alive but I've decided to dig my way out and take back my life, my business, and my art! Yea for me! Here's the proof.....

Sometimes we kind of get sucked into a vortex that really has no place or positive value in our lives. That's not to say that we don't get positive experiences from our little detours but making sure we get back on track...that's the tricky part.

I've been distracted and detracted from my art, my therapy and my gift. My body and brain finally said "Enough!"

As of June 1, 2009 I will be back to my old creative ways. I'm getting ready to launch my new website! I still have a lot of work to do but I'm on my way!! I even have Google Checkout and a Paypal Shopping Cart! We're ready to rock-n-roll!

Just waiting to settle on a new logo for the business....can't seem to make a decision when I have so many good options to choose from! Thanks for that Devon!

I'm LinkedIn, Facebooked, Flickred, and Beadspaced! You have been warned :)

See you soon my friends!

March 27, 2009

Ever had on of "those days"?

ARGH! No, I'm not in a pirate kind of mood but it's been one heck of a day and I'm really cranky.

I was shopping at one of my favorite craft stores today and just happened to mosey on back to the "clearance wall"....one of my favorite places for serendipitous finds. I saw this little kit hanging on the wall. It had originally sold for $18.00 and there it was, on clearance for $6.49!

Now, I've had this experience before. You think you've found a great buy only to get it home and find that someone has removed an essential item from the box and now you're stuck trying to find the correct replacement part. So, I happened to see a large box nearby (a shipping box that had yet to be opened) and decided to use it for a table. The kit had been opened already so I wanted to make sure everything was still there. I began taking the items out of the box and laying them out on the box.

It just so happened that I was standing right by the Manager's office. I saw him walk by, we exchanged quick hello's and I continued with my project. I heard the call go out for someone to come to the craft aisle. It didn't seem strike me as odd.

By this time I'd determined that all of the necessary items were still present and accounted for so I returned them to the kit box and put it in my basket. I turned around and there stood a Police Officer...slowly approaching me! Suddenly the Manager comes out of his office, looks in my basket, sees the kit is there, and casually greets the Officer and starts waving him back as if to say "never mind" or "go away NOW!". These two guys start talking like they just happened to run into each other on the very back aisle of the store.

Anyone will tell you I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer but, hello! I realized there were no other customers standing around, just me, and then I realized the manager had called this guy back because he thought I was going to shop lift "the kit". ARGH!!! I just looked at him and said, "Is everything alright?" He acted very nonchalant and made some comment about a misunderstanding. So, not being the type of person to keep my mouth shut, I looked at both of them and said, "Oh PLEASE! You thought I was going to steal something from your store?" He looked a little sheepish. He should have!

If I were even considering stealing something which goes completely against my character, I certainly wouldn't do it right in front of a video camera and right next door to the Manager's office! DUH! I shop there A LOT and it really ticked me off. I know, he was just doing his job, but good grief!

Then, I was driving to work and came to a place on the highway that has a real bottleneck where traffic tends to backup. I noticed a tractor trailer rig trying to bulldoze his way onto the highway. It happens all the time. Then I realized he was trying to force his way into the center lane and there was already a car in that spot. The driver of the car was honking his horn and the truck just kept coming. Now, I don't usually get all wigged out about these things but that car was trying desperately to get over and out of the way of that truck. The problem was that I was in the same spot the car was trying to move into. I started honking my horn. I had a very narrow shoulder framed by a guard rail....not much room and no options.

Long story short, I was run off the road. I managed to get my car out of the way and stopped, the poor car trying to escape the truck wasn't so lucky...he lost the right side door handles, mirror, etc.... Needless to say, traffic came to a screeching halt, and I mean that literally!

The highway patrol was called ( I could swear he looked just like the guy in the craft store) and wouldn't let me leave until he'd taken every one's statement. No one was injured thank heaven but I was shaking like a leaf. When I get stressed this poor old brain of mine turns my mouth into mush. My words get lost and I can't speak normally. NOW the patrolman thinks maybe I've been drinking. ARGH!!!! "No sir, I've not been drinking. I've just had the wits scared right out of me and my brain has gone on strike." I had to explain that I'm just a little brain damaged and after observing me and "chatting" with me until I calmed down a bit he decided to believe me.

Did I mention that I was on my way to pick up the girls at school on the other side of town? ARGH again! I knew I'd never make it on time to pick them up so, with the officer's permission, I called a friend who lives near the school and asked her to rescue them for me.

Suffice it to say it's been a tedious day. Now I get to look forward to a snow storm this weekend while I'm "babysitting" a preteen girl and maybe her teenage sister, not to mention my boss's three dogs. One of which will probably look like a squeaky toy to my Wire Fox Terrier, Mae, who likes to kill furry things that run around in my yard.

I think I'm ready to retire. For life. Now if I could just hang the "CLOSED" sign on my brain and get some sleep I'll probably feel differently tomorrow...I mean today...later today.

Okay, the mush brain thing is starting to kick in again so I'm moving toward my bed......we'll talk soon.

In the meantime ... Live Life Joyfully! You never know what tomorrow may bring.

March 21, 2009

Mosaic Chalcedony Earrings....YUMMY!

Oh I know....you just can't believe I blogged twice in one day huh? Well I just can't seem to keep my silly self inside on these nice days but night time does come around and I'm forced to come inside.

We've been doing the Spring Yard Cleaning this past week and cutting down trees was one of those projects. ARGH! Exhausting and sometimes painful it is still a huge improvement to our property. More to the point (finally), I just kind of felt sad to watch such majestic living things destroyed.
Yes, we'll use a great deal of those by products to mulch and conserve our land but as the limbs and branches began to pile up it started to look more and more like a mosaic of sorts. Yeah, I know. I see art everywhere, even in the rubbish of trees :)

It got me thinking and I remembered a pair of earrings I'd made a while ago that look like a mosaic but it's a natural gemstone. They are so earthy and elegant all at the same time. My kind of jewelry! Take a look at these and tell me what you think....

Spring is officially here!

Hey there! It's here! Finally!! Spring.....it always comes but it just seems to take longer to get here every year. Guess I'm getting impatient in my old age huh?

Well, I just listed a pretty pair of pale green gemstone earrings on Etsy today. Had to get into the spirit of the season right?

I hope you like them!

March 09, 2009

Hammering out my frustrations....

I've been frustrated lately. The dumb little ups and downs of my life have been getting a bit tedious and sometimes I just need to get physical without of course hurting anyone or anything.

I realized that this sometimes requires a bit of imagination and creativity on my part so I picked up a hammer and a couple of copper rings I had in my stash and bashed the heck out of them!

It felt really good and it looked really good :) This is the result of all that beating and banging...
I hope you like them. I sure do! I just listed them on http://www.chrissymarie.etsy.com .
Maybe I should try this technique more often. It's really quite therapeutic!


I just added a new necklace to my Etsy store! This is one of my favorite pieces. I hope you like it. Let me know what you think! I'd really like to get your opinions!!

February 21, 2009

Yearning for spring?

I'm SO looking forward to spring and getting the chance to dig in my flower beds! If you are too, click on the title of this entry to see the featured Etsy store on "We Love Etsy Feedback" blog. It's the cutest little shop and she sells seeds and plant cuttings and really cool stuff that grows!
Good luck!

February 15, 2009

Is there still romance after 25 years of marriage?

You bet there is :) It may not be the kind of romance we used to share and it may come in the oddest of moments but there is still a bit of romance to be found.

Today we shared a job we both really dislike doing....grooming the dogs. His gift to me was in clipping the nails, a job I abhor and he doesn't much like either but he did it for me.
He and Chrissy bathed both dogs for me...another job I don't mind but hate doing on the same day. Grooming is hard work and for me to do all steps alone and then clean up afterward is almost impossible. I clipped, and cut, and brushed, and combed, and sweet talked the dogs into absolutely adorable examples of the Terriers they are supposed to resemble. Chrissy and Barry followed with broom and cloth to clean up after I made a monumental mess. Together we managed to accomplish a really big job. That is a gift.

Today we worked on a jigsaw puzzle together. We've had it quite a long time and it's one I gave him to go with his Harley Davidson collectible "stuff". I was amazed! He doesn't really like doing these puzzles, it's more fun for me, but he worked diligently and with great patience on it. Funny, I haven't had much time to work on it but I didn't fuss at him for spending a perfectly good Saturday on something so "unproductive". It's Valentine's Day after all!

The best part was when he brought the giant heart shaped cookie he gave me....along with a knife to cut it because he wanted a piece :) I'm happy to share my heart with him along with my cookie :)

We spent the day together, under the same roof, occupied by different and shared projects, meeting in the middle to share gifts that would seem meaningless to most, a kiss or a hug and most importantly a quiet kind of love that doesn't require much in the way of flashy cards, dinners out, or flowers. This is the kind of romance I most treasure.

I hope you had a happy Valentine's Day with the love of your life. Exciting or quiet, lavish or low-key, sexy or just snuggled up, I hope you had a day as wonderful as ours.

February 14, 2009

Click here for Valentine's Day Features and Fun!

It's been quite a day at my house. Not because it is Valentine's Day but because my shops are being featured on a cool blog that features ONLY Etsy shops that have a 100% positive Feedback rating.

With the feature are give aways from each of my shops (your choice) and a sale with a special Password available only through the website. Go check it out, it's easy and all you have to do is comment on your favorite item in each of my shops (don't forget to leave contact info in case you win!), then wait for a computer generated drawing to see if you are the winner. That's easy and a great way to get something fun for free too!

Not only that but I'm offering a great sale on this blog special as well. I've been busy trying to add new items to my shops but they either sell locally or pretty quickly after they are listed. So if you don't see something you know I have or make just let me know and I'll see if I can come up with a special listing just for you. I love my Etsy customers and friends! And some of you are extra special to me. (You know who you are!!!)

Thanks and good luck.....I hope you win!!!

January 15, 2009

NO New Year's Resolutions for me!

Mid-January already? I KNOW! It's impossible that so many days have passed during this New Year and I have yet to come up with even one profoundly insightful conscious thought. LOL! Like that happens so often!

This is one thought I did have. Not profound or thought provoking but a simple statement of fact. I'm not making New Year's Resolutions this year. I always feel like a failure if I don't manage to achieve my goals - no matter how unrealistic they were to begin with.

I already have a list (a mile long) of things I need or want to change or improve upon. Why add more stress to an already stressful situation?

In these times of financial difficulty I can't afford to do everything I want to do. It's difficult even to "spend" time wisely when you're running amuck trying to get everything done and within a budget. I've decided to make a list of things I will try to do.

Here goes...

I will try:

  • to write in my Blog more often.
  • to spend more quality time with my family.
  • to spend less, give more, whine less, and pray more.
  • to better manage my time, my temper, and my ability to say "No" instead of yes to every request that comes my way.
  • to take better care of myself so I can be here to enjoy the gifts I've been blessed with.
  • to listen more and talk less.
  • to finish one project before beginning another or at least keep my husband from doing this :)
  • to plan ahead instead flying by the seat of my pants....and this one is especially difficult when my health is not something I can depend on and my brain has a mind of it's own....and not one I'm real familiar with :)
  • to be ON TIME! Time i.e. clocks are not my friend. I can't seem to get anywhere on time these days. I've always been a bit ditsy because of my ADHD but it has become someone MAGNIFIED since the Meningitis and Staph Infections in my brain.
  • to NOT berate myself for the changes in my brain that I have no control over....such as an ongoing struggle with time management, lack of visual memory, short term memory loss and the really big one for me.....the ability to use or remember numbers. (Now you know why time is an issue!)
  • to accept the changes and focus on the things I CAN do well.
  • to find the purpose God has for my life.
  • to be the change I want to see in my world.
  • to take better care of and spend more time with my parents.
  • to play with my dogs everyday...at least for a minute or two.
  • to remember to play more and work less...taking a cue from my dogs :)

See, the list goes on and on and on. The only resolution I am making is that I will not make a list of stress producing resolutions. I will only do what I can and leave the rest for next year.

Time is all we have and I'm hoping I have LOTS of it in my future!

So....here's wishing you a Happy 2009!