Thursday, December 24, 2009

Memories Around the Tree


The Holidays for my family, are the celebration of two different religions, Hanukkah and Christmas. When my husband and I had our three children, holidays became the blending of family traditions that had been passed down to us growing up and the creation of new traditions unique to our family!

  One tradition that I started when the children were small, happened when I went out to look for a christmas tree skirt and couldn't find one I liked.
So, like any crafter I decided to make one! I chose Snowmen as a theme since I have always loved them!

Never having done a patch work quilt before didn't stop my determination to dive in and create a family treasure that would be updated every year.
With a rough sketch I set out to pickup the materials I needed.  I sewed the skirt without much trouble but decided to use fusible webbing for my Snowmen!  I divided the skirt into 8 sections, one for each child and one for my husband & I, the other four sections I created christmas trees to be placed between each of the snowmen sections and used velcro to close the skirt.

This section of the tree skirt represents my oldest son. Growing up, he played all types of sports, baseball, hockey,soccer, and football.  Our first family dog was chosen by my son from the local animal shelter. This dog was always grabbing his hat, gloves & scarf! In H.S he was the Captan of his hockey team and his varsity letter was added. The buttons represent his college PSU.  The cute guinea pig was his pet that he received from his middle school gym teacher!

This snowman is my other son. He has always been willing to help, even at two years of age he alway had a shovel in his hand. The wheel barrel represents his desire to help me in the garden. It's filled with a truck, soccer ball, paint brushes, hockey stick, and our cat that loved following him around!  He had a hamster(on his hat), has a bearded dragon(on the shovel) and did all the leg work to find our beloved husky online!
For the past two years I've forgotten to put his varsity letter on maybe this year I'll remember!

My daughter's snowman is wearing a big floppy hat, because as a baby she had no hair for a long time so I used to put all these cute hats on her. Teddy bears were her favorite stuffed animal. She picked out our current cat from our neighbors litter and was an irish dancer for several years. Her snowman is holding her irish shoes. She also rode for quite a few years, represented by the riding helmet. All my children played soccer for years, but she is the only one that is playing for her high school. I will be adding a varsity letter onto her snowman after the holidays also!
Her Chinchilla!

This cute snowman couple represents my husband and I! An avid soccer player, my husband coached all our children's soccer teams and little league teams when they were young. That's why his snowman is holding a soccer ball, wearing a coach's whistle and a baseball bat nearby! Buying an older home he is always busy working on something which the tools represent.
My snowman has three hearts running down the front, one for each child. My love of gardening is reflected with the pot of three topiaries. Each topiary represents one of my children, and the pruners sitting nearby, show how I carefully need to shape and prune them as they grow into happy, healthy, mature adults!

The kids love this tree skirt and my daughter already asked if it could be passed down to her! It's funny how traditions start! Every year I love to add some new detail to our snowmen, it truly is our special story told around the Christmas Tree!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday! I would love to hear about one of your traditions if you would like to share it! 

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Rink is Open!

Our Ice Rink is officially open for the 2009 Winter Season!

And my Kids are ready!

Ice Hockey has been a big part of our lives for the past 16 years! Putting up an ice rink every year is one of my husbands favorite things to do. We don't have a swimming pool, but we do have an ice rink!
I love when my children's friends and teammates stop by to skate! It's a lot of fun to watch them having a great time.

 When they come off the ice, they can always count on me to have mugs of steaming hot chocolate with marshmallows and chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven waiting for them!!

Even our dog will find a treat or two for her!
Compliments from our neighbor!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

One-of-a-kind Holiday Gifts! Part 3 of 4

My Winter Bird Ornament Collection

                 The past two years I have been painting these lovely bird ornaments for the holidays. This year's Winter Bird Collection is featuring the White Breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, Eastern Towhee, and the American Goldfinch.

These are some of my favorite birds I see throughout the winter at my feeders or just around my yard.

American Goldfinch 

These unique glass ornaments are handpainted  with acrylic paints. The back is painted a snowy white so a
sentiment, name or date can be written on the back to personalize it.
                    This is a free service!
                                                                                                              Carolina Wren

Each ornament comes in a box with a beautiful tag that has a little description about each bird. All ornaments are signed by me.

This sparrow was part of my Winter Bird Collection from 2008 but it shows how each ornament comes.
        These make perfect one-of-a-kind personalized gifts for that nature lover, bird watcher, or gardener in your life!


                                                                                              Eastern Towhee

Visit my shops for more wonderful handmade items:

Sunday, December 6, 2009

One-of-a-kind Holiday Gifts! Part 2 of 4

I love to recycle items into my artwork, and just like the little Carolina Wren on my logo, I am a scavenger at heart!

Attracted by the colorful shiny aluminum soda cans, I began incorporating them into my bird houses after helping my children with a recycling project at their elementary school. This birdhouse below is the only one I have left from last spring, but I hope to have many more by March, just in time for this spring!

Do you have a favorite drink you would like to see used on a birdhouse? Just let me know!

These unique & fun wine charms can be made in any color combination to represent a favorite team or College.  This set was created to represent Penn State's Colors.
Perfect for the sports lover or college alumni, stocking stuffer or grab bag gift! 
Just contact me with your colors and I will be happy to create them for you.
Sets can also be larger if needed

Holiday Parties: Greens, reds & golds create sets for Christmas. 
Blue, silver and white for Hanukkah!  Think how unique they would be at your holiday party. Or bring them as a hostess gift!

In love? How about these cute heart wine charms! Have them made in your wedding colors. Great Bridal shower gift, stocking stuffer. Possibilities are endless!

These can also be used on coffee cups to keep everyones cup identified. Perfect for the work place, household, or group get togethers such as bible studies, book clubs etc.

Do you know someone that works for a company that creates drinks in a can, or sells drinks labeled with their store logo such as Shoprite? I can create a unique set just for them or a co worker. I created this set below using the shoprite soda cans.

These are so much fun to make! The colors and patterns are endless! Pick a set from my Artfire Shop; ,
contact me with a request:!

First Snow!

Yesterday we were surprised with our first snow storm of the season! There is something so magical about the first snow! The large lacy snowflakes must have been at least one inch at times! It was just beautiful!

These are a couple of pictures my husband took this morning, I'm so happy he had everything shoveled before I got up!! He's the best! :-)

Monday, November 30, 2009

One-of-a-kind Holiday Gifts by TKDesigns -Part 1 of 4!

Inspired by Nature's Beauty,  I have created  beautiful, jewelry/keepsake wooden boxes that have a special connection through their origin of sea treasures!
The gorgeous  boxes below are all one-of-a-kind, and would make the perfect unique gift for that person that has everything!!

This beautiful wood jewelry/keepsake box features an amazing weathered stone that came from the shores of Israel!
I have several items in my Etsy Shop and Artfire Studio that have a connection with Israel.
Perfect gifts for the Holidays! Israel Rocks Necklace & Israel Rocks Box
Bat Mitzvahs, Bar Mitzvahs or anyone looking for something special!

This pretty wood heart box features a large piece of genuine sea glass in a wonderful seafoam green, and a small red stone that the Irish call the Heart of Ireland!
I do have one more box left in either of my shops called Irish Sundrops & Polka Dots!

This sweet one of a kind box has sea treasures from Florida and California shores! I just love the rare small white heart shaped genuine piece of sea glass that had been shaped this way by nature!!
Perfect unique gift for a Bride to Be, any shore lover, beach house, endless possibities!

After the Storm by TKDesigns
This lovely unique box has not been listed yet (probably next few days)
The sea Urchins were hand collected by my son from the shores of W. Florida after a big storm!
Perfect for gift giving for the holidays!

Most items in my shops/studio are one-of-a-kind so you can always find something unique for that special person!
  Gift Certificates are available for my etsy shop. They are listed for $20.00, but you can request any amount, just contact me first and I will create a special listing just for you!
I can also create a gift certificate for either of my other two shops if you prefer.
just contact me at

Part Two is coming Tomorrow!

 "Free Shipping" on Jewelry ~~~~~~10% off all other items!

Write in "One-of-a-Kind" in message to seller in any of my shops at time of purchase. 
I will reimburse you through paypal after purchase.  

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I Just Won Justine Beads Thanksgiving Giveaway!!

I was so excited to find out I won these two beautiful gifts from Justine's Bead Blog! I hadn't entered a giveaway in quite awhile and to my surprise I won! Justine will be having a Christmas giveaway soon, so you might want to stop by her wonderful blog at:

Visit Her Etsy & Artfire Shops:
Where she sells her beautiful paintings, art prints, aceos, and greeting cards!

Where you can find Beautiful beads, findings, charms, and clasps! 

Thank you Justine I just wanted you to  know
how thankful I am!!

I can't wait to receive them!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

My Talented Followers Series -10

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
This Series has been a real joy! I am so happy to have gotten to know all of my Followers! To complete my Series,  I would like to share the rest of my followers that have Craft Supply Shops, wonderful blogs of their own or just enjoy reading blogs!!
I thank you all for following me!

  Momgen's Corner is a great place to find craft supplies, beads, clothing, and more.
A great place to look for Glitter Christmas Peel and Stick Gift Tags and other holiday items.
Visit Momgen Craft Corner:

This is a wonderful blog that promotes new products, reviews products, guide of giveaways and has giveaways! A great place to visit and see what's up!

Backroads Explorer
This entertaining blog is all about the adventures of a couple that love to just take off with no predetermined destination and share their adventures! Great pictures and stories about their travels and the people they meet around Southern Indiana and surrounding areas!

After looking through Vidhya's blogs I found that she also has a Studio on Artfire!

Blue Satin beads with Metal Pendant Necklace set
I'm so glad I discovered her Studio!

Here are two of her many blogs!
This blog is a great place to go if you want to find out about an indian spice and has links on where to buy them.
My Receipes -
Vegetarian Indian Recipes she has tried, liked and shares the recipe! I may actually try one, they sound good!


  Thanks for Following my Blog!!
Chrystal Colours

I wish you all a happy, healthy holiday season!

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Talented Followers Series - 9

It's that time of year when things are getting crazy! I'm not sure if everyone is as busy as I am, trying to get ready for the holidays! It's a bit nerve racking when I see everyone's got their Christmas items listed, and I'm just starting to make them!
As crazy as I am, I still wanted to finish my Talented Followers List! These Artists are amazing in what they do and I want to share their talents with you.

Hand knotted Creamy Pink Shell Pearl Necklace by
This lovely shop is filled with beautiful  jewelry that just so happens to be on sale for the holidays! ( Sale-25% off until Christmas and 1/2 off each additional item)
Linda Strothers also has another shop that carries everything from lace to buttons. Visit:



 Castlerigg Stone Circle
Visit this wonderful photographers studio to find gorgeous pictures of far off places! They are so inspiring with their beauty! 
                          photoblog at:

This talented photographer also has two other shops. One features her felting and the other her tatting handwork. 
Here are a couple of items that I'm sure you will love!

Wildflower needle felted bag with Bees by ClowerCottage

 Beautiful custom tatted letters and numbers can be found in her Etsy Shop:


    Bracelet Cuff With Orange Gemstones Green Pearls and Sparkly Crystals by Janet Davies on Etsy

Janet Davies creates gorgeous sparkly fashion jewelry, handmade with semi-precious gems and Swarovski Crystal. She also creates beautiful felted containers that are truly unique. Everything you find in her shop is one of a kind!

Janet also has another gorgeous shop on Etsy, called Lilac Woman!

  Silk Scarf Handpainted in Tropical Flower Colors by Lilac Woman on etsy

This lovely shop has hand dyed silk scarves, silk rayon velvet scarves, and more of her beautiful handmade jewelry ( created to accompany her scarves). 



I hope you enjoyed another peek at some amazingly talented artists that I am proud to call my Talented Followers!!

In the coming weeks I hope to feature some wonderful Christmas & Hannukah Items
from both my followers and artisians from Artfire and Etsy!!
So Check back soon!
If you have an item that you would like to see featured for the holidays contact me

Friday, November 13, 2009

Diary 2010 Project

This diary project is in its third year! It is the vision of photographer/ fashion designer Lucy Baribeau from Fantazya.  Its pages have been designed by many wonderful artists and crafters from around the world!  And it's now available to purchase. I think it would make a great gift for the coming holidays!

Each page was designed by one artist or crafter and corresponds to a date. It is printed on a beautiful, opaque, very soft quality paper. There are 364 date pages, 8 address pages, 3 notes pages, 12 months page, 2 introduction pages, and 2 year pages. Total: 392 pages with different designs.  The cover is plain, so you can decorate it as you like. The size: 4¼" x 7"

This is an example of 2 of the pages in this years diary.

There is also the CD version that contains the complete pdf file, ready to print, with instructions. On the CD you have 2 sizes, small diary: 4¼" x 7" and medium diary: 5½"x 8½".

 This year the diary is trilingual: english, french, and spanish !

For information visit:

Monday, November 9, 2009

Pond Construction Update!

It's been a while since I've talked about the construction of the pond in our backyard.   This picture was taken early in the construction phase. (If you want to follow its progress it is in August archives.)

After finishing it's construction, we discovered there was a leak somewhere in the waterfall itself. For 2 months of shuffling rocks around and filling in every nook and cranny with a special pond foam filler, we finally fixed it!! It was a definite stumbling block, one I wasn't prepared for, since our small pond in the front yard has been no trouble at all for years.                                                                                       

For those of you who have been following this construction, I thought I would show you the progress we made so far!  I'm glad the waterfall is finally flowing with no problems. Just in time for the winter!

Because it got so late in the fall before I could plant, I just used plants I had around my property so it wouldn't be so muddy.  I also wanted to make it a little more interesting to look at since we can see it from most of our back windows.  But I can't wait until the spring to add more plants and put all the finishing touches to it.

As you can see, it's never the best spot to place a pond beneath deciduous trees! I have my work cut out for me removing all the leaves from the waterfall and pond. But I anticipated that from the beginning and bought a plastic netting to go over the pond. The problem? I never had the time to do it!! Oh well, I'll wait until all the leaves are down and then tackle this job in the freezing cold!!

We are now putting up the sides of our ice rink (you can see the white boards behind the pond)   Each year since the kids were little, my husband builds a huge ice rink. I will write about that at some point. Once the temperatures dip below freezing its time to lay the liner, fill the rink with water, and hope for a cold winter! :)

There's always something going on at our house! 

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What do you think he's thinking about?

I went out to feed the fish in our new pond and sitting there at the edge is this little frog quietly sitting under this leaf! Usually if I get close enough to him, he jumps into the water. But today he didn't move! I wonder if he thinks I can't see him under his leaf? It reminded me of the days I would play hide and seek with my kids and they would be hiding their bodies but their feet or little bottoms would be showing!!
I guess he is maybe contemplating the coming of winter? What do you think?

Monday, November 2, 2009

My Talented Followers Series - 8

As it gets closer to the holidays it is getting harder to feature my Talented Followers as quickly as I was! But I am determined to keep going! Their work is so amazing they deserve to be seen! Hope you enjoy these wonderful items!

Flower Basket Needle Case created by Felted on the Fly.
I love to sew! I haven't had much time since I opened up shop a year ago but one   thing I seem to lose are my needles!  These adorable needle cases are a great idea! Also, check out her very cute Christmas Boots! To see more of her wonderful felt items visit:
 Etsy Shop:

Beautiful Crocheted Wire Bracelet created by Zircon Joyas
Her work is just amazing! Make sure you visit all her sites to view more of her work.

A Pair of Dusting Mitts created by Sassmowth Designs
What a fun way to dust in style! Very Creative!


My next  three fantastic artists will be featured soon!
Have a great day!  

Monday, October 19, 2009

My Talented Followers Series - 7

Today I had a hard time making up my mind on choosing items, so I  decided to feature two items from each of my talented followers!  Enjoy!.

Nature's Fragile Beauties Collection
created by Faerie Moon Creations on Etsy.
Birds and butterflies are my weakness! I just couldn't decide which to pick! So I decided to include both!:-)

Sing a Happy Tune Collection
This charming wood pendant is part of a wonderful collection creatd by Faerie Moon Creations on Etsy.
I just love Theresa's jewelry! These cheerful little chickadee's would look so great with my handpainted Nuthatch Wood Box!

To see the complete Collections of 'Sing a Happy Tune' & 'Nature's  Fragile Beauties'

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Garden of Mist
 Vintage Whimsical Necklace Harvest Green Enamel Flower Prairie Steampunk by
Bionic Unicorn on Etsy.
 Kristen is another amazingly talented jewelry designer! I love, love, love both of these necklaces!

Sunflower Periscope 
Vintage Yellow and Orange Autumn Enamel Flower Fall Harvest Halloween Steampunk Necklace

Bionic Unicorn Etsy Shop:

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Haunted Hayride
Handspun Thread Plyed Yarn - Merino, BFL, Mohair, Bamboo, Silk and Glitz
This is Hauntingly Beautiful!!

Sedona Hand dyed New Zealand Wool by Split Rock Ranch on Etsy.

This full time rancher and fiber artist offers gorgeous hand dyed and hand painted rovings and yarns, handspun yarns and custom fiber blend batts. I am so jealous that she is surrounded by Llamas! I kid my children about wanting to get one - they think I'm crazy! But I just love them! :-)

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Check back soon for more incredible Artists and Blogs!