Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday Featured Artist!

I just love this wonderful whimsical Lady made from glass! She makes me chuckle with her great smile and crazy eyes! The little bee sitting on the end of her hat is really adorable! It has been created by Sonnee McCabe and can be seen in her etsy shop, along with other beautifully handmade unique fused glass jewelry, mirrors, masks, tiles & wall decor.

This fantastic one-of-a-kind mask was inspired by her love of gardening and the outdoors. The Queen measures appx. 9.75"x6.5" and has a hanger on the back. It is made entirely from iridescent and opaque glass with some small pieces of glass stringers and millefiori added for detail. The glass pieces have all been fused together in the kiln,properly annealed and cooled slowly. This is a one-of-a-kind fun piece and will surely bring a smile to anyone's face viewing it.

Fused Glass Earrings
I love the variety of items that Sonnee creates, from whimsical masks and mirrors, to beautiful fused glass jewelry!
Visit Sonnee also at:
She is a member of the Creative Glass Guild of Etsy (CGGE) and SRAJD.

Fused Glass Pendant

Friday, June 26, 2009

Welcome to My Garden

Welcome to My Garden! I thought you might like to see where I spend most of my time during our warmer months! I love the outdoors, and my garden has been a place where I can always find refuge from my hectic life. Over the years I have been transforming our 3/4 acre lot into a small wildlife sanctuary.

When we first bought this house we decided to separate the entrance to our garden from the driveway with a wood gate and arbor. My husband and I built this together, I designed it, he built it!! He was a good sport! Little did he know it was only the beginning of his many projects! I planted several concord grape vines to provide shade and grapes! In the fall I like to make grapevine wreaths like the one hanging on the gate in the picture. If you read my bear story earlier in the month this is the gate he didn't destroy!

Our bluestone patio off the back of our home connects to the entrance gate on one side and a hot tub on the other. A wrought iron table and chairs is one of my favorite spots to drink my morning coffee, bird watch and congregate for family dinners! Unfortunately, this spring has been cool and rainy, so I haven't been able to enjoy doing that much.

It's also a wonderful spot to work on my crafts when it's warm and sunny. Our Siberian Husky loves to hang out with me, staying cool under the table and patiently hoping to catch any crumbs I might drop from a snack break!

My pink Rosebud Azaleas are in full bloom! They are amazing with their soft pink, double flower blossoms. They look like little roses!

This is our cat enjoying the garden too! Her favorite past time is chipmunk and bird watching! She is a brown patch tabby cat born to a feral mother. Seven years ago, our neighbors came home from vacation and found the mother cat and six kittens under their car! My daughter chose this kitten to adopt! We absolutely love her!

Each week I look forward to revealing another part of my garden!

Monday, June 22, 2009

I Won! I Won!

On this gloomy Monday morning I was so excited to find out that I won the drawing from 'Tree of Life Designs'. This busy artist Kerri Testa creates wonderful floor cloths and gave me the opportunity to choose the one I wanted!

It was an agonizing decision since I love all of them and could easily find a place for each one!! However, I decided on the Garrison House/Edward Durant Floor cloth (not shown in picture). Going into the summer, it seemed like a lighter, brighter choice. Honestly, I don't think I could go wrong with any of them!

Kerri Testa is also the owner/operator of Cafe Handmade, a clever site for artists to meet and sell their work in a Virtual Craft Show atmosphere. The Virtual Craft Show is a lot of fun! This is where buyers can browse through the aisles of a virtual craft show, and sellers can showcase their handcrafted items.

The Cafe Handmade Lounge is a great place to join groups, blog, and socialize, creating a network to connect those who love to buy handmade with those that love to create handmade!
The Cafe Handmade Market Place is a custom market place on FuzzB (like Etsy) offering an additional selling venue under the Cafe Handmade name.
I'm currently a member and have a virtual booth. Check it out! I'm in asile 3 this week!
Also, take a minute to vote for your favorite booth!

Thanks Kerri! I can't wait for my floor cloth to arrive!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

~ Sunday Featured Artist ~

I'm so pleased to introduce you to Andrea Knott Brewer. She is an amazing Fiber Artist I so happily stumbled upon during my quest to find bear items to feature in my blog!
I fell in love with her incredible fiber art and thought it would be fun to find out more about her and what inspired her to create these wonderful pieces.
Here is her Artist Statement in her own words, and some beautiful examples of her work. I hope you enjoy!

"Mermaid Meditation"
Needlefelted Panel - 12" x 16" Image

"I make needle felted naturescapes. I use a small, barbed needle and a felt canvas to “paint” scenes with wool fiber. "
"My journey into fiber began with watercolor painting. From junior high through my years of graduate study, I was a student in the visual arts, benefiting from formal instruction in color, technique and form. In my thirties, my paints gave way to exploration in three dimensional soft sculpture. I soon learned the felting needle allowed for greater artistic freedom than my sewing needle. The felted fibers became my clay, and as such, a very amenable vehicle for transIating my inner vision to the tangible."

" Wandering"
Needlefelted Panel 10"x 23" Image

"Recently, my work evolved from two dimensions to three, as my love of watercolor painting found new expression through needle felting. Using the felting needle as my “brush” and felted wool as my “canvas,” again I paint, only this time with fiber.""Sunset at the Shore"
Needlefelted Panel 8" x 10" Image

"Currently, I seek to translate some of my past watercolor work into scenes of fiber. I am now felting with a variety of fibers in addition to wool as a means of exploring new colors and textures. The repetitive nature of needle felting frees my imagination and allows for many fortunate accidents that serve to make painting with fiber a deeply rewarding experience. "

"Purple Mountain Bear"
Needlefelted Purse 4" x 5"

"Additionally, my interest in black bears comes from my home in the beautiful Smoky Mountains of North Carolina---black bears are some of our most treasured forest friends."

Thank you Andrea for taking the time to tell us a little more about you!

*You can find more of Andrea's work at her Etsy Shop, Andrea's Fibers

*Her website

Andrea's work has appeared in numerous publications and is held in private collections around the world. Most of her naturescapes are created in beautiful panels or purses! I share her love of bears, so my favorite piece is the Purple Mountain Bear Purse! Do you have a favorite?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rain, Rain Go Away! Clever Ideas For Today!

PartyBluPrints Blog * Nothing Bundt Cakes - Too Cute for words!

On this rainy day I have lots to do! But I'm so comfy sitting here with my coffee and laptop, I don't want to move!! So, I thought I would make good use of my time and pass along a wonderfully creative blog that I found through twitter!

This blog has lots of great ideas for entertaining. With summer BQ's & July 4th coming up, today, is a great time to take a peek and dream of throwing that perfect party on a warm SUNNY day! Something, we New Jersians have not seen in weeks!

So take a minute and get inspired with wonderful recipes, and ideas!

Do you have a favorite blog that cheers you up on a rainy day? Please share it with us!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

One Lovely Blog Award

I just received the One Lovely Blog Award from Julie of Julie Magers Soulen Photograghy. I had just recently discovered her wonderful photos and just love the way she captures the nature that surrounds her.
Please take a moment to visit her blog: and see some amazing pictures from her trips! Also, take a peek at her etsy shop:
Thanks so much, Julie!

Now it's my turn to pass it on...Here are the rules:
*Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.
*Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered.
*Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.
Here are my Awardees!

5. Avlorsimprints

6. ArtSnark's Artifacts

7. fabricsnquilts

8. Prettywhimsical

11. HiddenEloise

12. Madmaggiedesigns

13. DeanDynmentStudios

14. BumbleBird

15. Eugena's Creations

*Please take a minute and visit all these wonderful blogs.You may discover a great new blog to follow! (They are in no particular order)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How Did I Think of That?

Most of my creations have started with a goal for solving a problem. My mosaic boxes began with a quest for some way to display the sea shells that our family would collect on vacation each year from Long Beach Island, NJ! Every year we would come home with pails filled with ocean treasures! After sitting around for a while I would wash and stack them neatly in bags on a garage shelf. Each years beach finds were stored and forgotten!

One year, I decided I wanted to capture our vacation in a special way, not just in a scrap book or cluttering up my house with loose shells everywhere! That's when my 'Shore to Please' Mosaic Jewelry/Keepsake Boxes were born!

Using the shells and pebbles collected that year from the beach, I created a mosaic on top of a box I had. I wanted to capture the feeling of the beach, so I created it to have a lot of texture and a certain roughness like the beach, not a perfect mosaic that was smooth and flawless! Some shells were poking out of the grout and others were seen in their entirety, similar to what you would find walking along the shore. I enjoy walking along the beach looking for all types of treasures, and that is how I wanted to design these boxes. I delight in finding those little surprises and I tried to include that in my boxes. Even if the background may look very white, if you look closely, you may also find a piece of coral or a special shell or rock mixed in. It came out beautiful!

My love for weathered beach items, inspired me to paint the box to reflect the color of the fences that dotted the sand dunes along the shore. The inside was painted to complement the outside and then I covered the bottom with a piece of felt to provide a soft place to put my jewelry or mementos! It was almost perfect! But it was still missing that link to my family and that year I was trying to capture.

I started experimenting with a favorite picture of the kids on the beach that year, and was very pleased with the end result. I carefully enlarged the picture and attached it to the top inside of the box!

I fell in love with this box, and after 12 years it's still one of my favorite items I own! Each day I just love seeing all the different shells and when I open it up to get my jewelry, I smile, because there are my beautiful children, with their young faces smiling back at me! (Now that they are teens, its even more special!lol!) How time flies! Sure, I have lots of scrapbooks that I drag out and look at occassionally. But I see this picture everyday, reminding me of the wonderful memories we shared at the beach every time I open it up to take out my jewelry!

Through the years friends and relatives expressed how they loved my box, so when I began my Etsy Shop, I decided to create them for others. Now, they are my top selling items and I have even personalized them for beach side or beach themed weddings as Bride gifts or bridesmaid gifts! It's been fun to share what has meant so much to me and be able to offer it to others!

Summer is now approaching quickly, and the kids will be out of school soon. We are all anxiously awaiting our family vacation and making new memories!
After 22 years, we still enjoy that wonderful week or two that we leave behind the soccer fields, ice rinks, and all the other sports that fill our lives, replacing them with swimming, relaxing, baseball, kite flying, and long walks on the beach. Ahhh, I can't wait for this years vacation!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wednesday Garden

I just love the creativity of this indigo butterfly necklace! It is called 'Dwellers of the Mechanical Garden!' created by Eugena777.

Each of her necklaces is one-of-a-kind, with its own color scheme and watch parts design. The pendant is covered with multiple layers of translucent resin to give it a smooth, glass-like surface.

If you would like more information about this item and clever artist, just click on the title Wednesday Garden!

Also take a peek at Eugena's comment to hear what sparked the creation of this clever piece! Thanks Eugena!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Do I See A Bear In My Yard?

This morning I woke up to a phone call from my neighbor, alerting me that our black bear was back again this year! Before she could say much more, I was out the back door, hurrying to get a glimpse of one of my favorite animals. Sure enough, there he was, moving along the fence that separates our yards! Standing up at the gate located in the back of my woodland path, he took one little push and it was down. It looked like it was paper! As he sauntered down my woodland path (very well mannered, he stayed on my path!) towards our house, he saw my daughter and I standing there. Unfazed, he turned around and continued to walk along our path, down our stone steps, into our lawn, and then down the path to my garden garden gate that leads out to the driveway!

I'm so happy he decided not to go through our wood gate, but turned around and went back up into our woodland path. He had a tag on his ear, so he must have gotten into trouble somewhere, but he was very well mannered today except for the gate, and where he squashed down a section of the fence to peacefully lumber off into the next neighbors yard!

Last year he came during the night and had quite a party for himself! He knocked down our bird feeders and suet cakes then left a trail of broken pieces to another bird feeder along our woodland path! We were all sleeping when this happened and we awoke to our siberian husky huddled underneath our kitchen table! It took her more than a week to go outside by herself! Huskies are not known to be good guard dogs - and that's very true!

Its amazing what goes on in our yards that we don't even see! I'm so glad after 24 years of the black bears coming through our yard or by our yard I finally got a picture! I guess some people would not be happy about it, but I think its a wonderful treat!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Fun Bracelets for The Summer!

I love Bracelets, especially in the summer!
Using natural elements, such as shell, wood, and Cinnabar is perfect for the warm months when we are all enjoying the outdoors!

Simply Silver & Shell Bracelet

Created with ivory shell circles and sterling silver-plated beads,
& clear glass seed beads!

Sweet Elyssa Bracelet
Beautiful carved Cinnabar beads, painted wood beads & brass washers
combine to make this fabulous bracelet.

Jet Shell and Silver Bracelet
This pretty bracelet is created with pearly gray shell lentils, jet gray
freshwater pearls, & beautiful detailed
silver metal beads!