Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!!

It's the last day of 2012.

I'm not one to dwell on the past, but this day was made for taking stock of where you are and where you want to be in the new year.

I lost my dad this fall.

There were things he still wanted to do in this life.  He had a lot of ideas that he wanted to explore, things he wanted to make.  But he didn't have the physical capacity to do his beloved woodworking and carving.

There comes a time in life when you don't have the choices you once did.  When the life you lived stands on its own as a testament to who you were. 

You have a lifetime to do and think and love and be.  And all of a sudden, you come to the end, when you must close the book that was your earthly life to start a new book in the Great Beyond. 

In the end, Dad was very peaceful.  He was ready to move on, looking forward to the next Great Adventure. 

We only have today to do the things and be the person we were meant to be.

I wish you love and joy.

I'll leave you with a few of my favorite quotes on stamps that I use all the time:

Joy is not in things, it is in us

Happiness is when what you THINK, what you SAY and what you DO are in Harmony

The best things in life are not free, but priceless.

Peace within makes beauty without
        -English Proverb

Kindness is no common virtue
It is a Rare Gift.
         -David Samuels

Nature is the art of God
            -Sir Thomas

If one truly loves nature, one can find beauty everywhere.
                     -Vincent Van Gogh

I wish you a very Happy New Year!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

My Jewelry Workspace

So I have a great craft room, right? 

Here's my craft room

But where do I make most of my jewelry?

In the family room on the love seat in front of the tv.

This is what my table looks like today.  Full of some of the beads I used in a piece I made last night.  The inspiration for the colors came from the C-Coop Enamel pendant.

Here's the necklace I just made.  I haven't decided if the chain strand will be a separate strand or will be connected to the bead strung strand.  The gold beads in the strung strand are amber, the rest are either glass or freshwater pearls.  The darker beads are glass pearls. 

Tonight's agenda is making matching earrings and a bracelet.

What do you think?


Friday, November 30, 2012

Sunset on the Lake

I’m trying a new thing in Windows; It seems I can write to my blog on my computer and somehow it will get uploaded to Blogger. 

Sunset 004

So here’s a picture I took as I was driving home the other other afternoon.

This is Bald Eagle Lake in White Bear Lake.

It was a very pretty scene, and I had my camera with me, so I took a pic.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Want vs Need

What do you do when you have dozens of things you need to do, and all you WANT to do is play? 

I want to be creative today. 

I want to try some new things with paper, watercolors and stamps.

Sometimes being creative is a need that can't be subdued no matter what else is on the list to be done.

Sometimes those practical endeavors must be tackled and you've put them off too long already.

So what do you do?

Do you promise yourself that you'll get to the fun stuff once you've completed one or two of those less than inspiring tasks?

Or do you ignore the mundane and go for the gold?

It depends, doesn't it? 

Today I'll tackle a few of the pressing must-do's and hope that there's time enough in the day to play.

Hope you have time for doing some of the things on your want list in the next few weeks.


Monday, November 12, 2012

My Library/Work room

I haven't completely moved everything back in yet, but here's how it looks today.

The view looking in from the doorway at my computer and desk.

Looking to the right; most of my stones are in the baskets divided by color and in zip-lock bags.

This is a picture of the china cabinet with all the knick knacks that used to be on all the shelves.  The plastic white containers have all my 12x12 papers, stickers, and other paper supplies.  The wooden 8-drawer cabinet contains glass beads by color.  The smaller wooden box has my unpriced jewelry in it.

This view is to the left of the doorway.  These shelves hold paper scraps, some stamps, a backet of wire, a basket of unmounted stamps in CD cases, and other things.

The desk I use to work on metal stuff and paper stuff.  Against the back wall is a table where I keep my rotary cutter and my scoring board.  Right now I'm taking pictures of jewelry for posting on-line. 

Some day maybe I'll show you my drawers.   :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Arts & Crafts Show November 16, 17 & 18

My booth at the Southtown Arts and Crafts Show

I'll be at Southtown Mall this month selling my jewelry at the Arts and Crafts Show on November 16th, 17th & 18th.

Southtown Mall is located at I-494 and Penn Ave South in Bloomington, Minnesota.

I'm located in front of the Dress Barn.

Here are the hours:
  • Friday: 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m
  • Sunday: 11:00 a.m. to 4:00p.m.

As always, I have quite a few new items, so stop and see me if you're in the neighborhood!  If you mention you saw my blog, you'll get 30 percent off your entire purchase!

Hope to see you there! 


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Chaos and Creativity

I make jewelry and cards. I have a lot of supplies.

It's a little overwhelming how many supplies I actually have.

Which might be why I have the organizing/cleaning bug right now.

Here's my work room as it was on August 31st.  This first picture is to the right as you come in thru the French door into my room, formerly called "the library."

Now it is just called my mess!

My stamping space is very organized, but it also doubles as my area to take photos of my jewelry.  And I would like room to stamp and pound on metal and wire.
This is the East facing wall.

Below is the northeast corner of my room.  The room used to be my library when I was writing; that's why I still have so many books.  I wrote Regency era love stories, so I have a LOT of research books. 
The desk holds my computer.  The doors hide a bunch of stuff, most of which I never use.  The large shelves hold my jewelry-making and card/stamping books.

This is the northwest corner which is a disaster.  When I want to keep something, but don't know where to put it, it goes on the floor in the corner area.
The bookshelves go to the ceiling.  On the shelves are my collectible books and going to the right are my Regency England research books.  My writing inspiration was Jane Austen.

My paper stash is in the white cabinets.  The black drawers hold more stuff I don't know what to do with.  Under the table are more supplies and important papers.  Sometimes I have trouble getting at the window to open or close the blinds.

Somewhere in the mess on the table is my paper cutter.  On the shelves are stamping supplies of every kind.  I do make cards.  Not as often as I should.  I also make cards for my earrings. 

Makes you wonder what on earth goes on in this room, doesn't it? 
I actually emptied this room a few weeks ago.  I didn't intend to, but I discovered the only way to weed down all the stuff I have is to get it out of the room.  Otherwise it just stays where it is forever!
More to come!
Enjoy life!  This is no dress rehearsal!

Arts and Crafts Show at Southtown September 21, 22 & 23!

My booth at the Southtown Arts and Crafts Show
I'll be at Southtown Mall September 21, 22 and 23 selling my jewelry! 
Southtown Mall is located at I-494 and Penn Ave South in Bloomington, Minnesota. 

I'm located in front of the Dress Barn. 

Here are the hours:
  • Friday: 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m
  • Sunday: 11:00 a.m. to 4:00p.m.

As always, I have quite a few new items.

Stop and see me if you are in the neighborhood! 

Tell me where you saw this notification for 30 percent off your entire purchase!

Hope to see you soon. 


Thursday, August 30, 2012

My Work Space

My husband and I spent many months have been getting my Dad's house ready to sell.  We did a lot of painting, cleaning, fixing, sorting, hauling and throwing.

Dad had a LOT OF STUFF stored in the house and the two-car garage.  A lot of it was NOT valuable or worthy of hanging on to.

Of course, there are some things of his and my mom's that do need to be kept.  Right now, they're all in half of the front garage, part of the back garage, and also in an old vehicle stored next to the back garage.  Many of these things will need to be stored over the winter so my siblings and I can get together and divvy them up.  Many other things can be sold.  So I should be organizing all that stuff into piles of items to "store" and "sell."

But first, I thought, I should clean the house.

It started with a general house cleaning, and has evolved into a complete house makeover.  My work room, which used to be my library when I was writing "women's fiction" and trying to get published, was full to the brim.  Full of lots and lots of old books, knicknacks (pretty English dishes), stamps, paper, ink, adhesives, ribbon, stickers, more stamps, more books, magazines, seed beads, stone beads, bone beads, glass beads, metal findings, beads, beads, beads, finished jewelry, jewelry making tools, metal stamping tools, a torch, two desks, a wicker trunk, four 12x12x? plastic paper drawer units (each with 3 drawers), another plastic storage unit with 6 containers full of punches, clay, paints, and more stuff in every nook and cranny on every available surface ad nauseum.

I've managed to empty 3/4 of the room. 

Then decided it would be a good time to paint those walls that haven't been visible for many years.  However, that means I have to move out more stuff that I wasn't planning to move.  However, the family room is almost full so I need more space to temporarily put the things that are still in my workroom.  I also need to clear a path so I can move in a piece of Dad's furniture that I decided I wanted to keep because it will help me store some of my stuff out of site in a more organized way.

But first I needed to organize the two extra bedrooms so I could temporarily put some of my work room stuff in those rooms while I'm painting and sorting and organizing. 

And then I can sort and organize my stuff into piles of "keep", "throw", "giveaway" and "garage sale".

So you see, there is a grand plan! 

I'm just in the chaotic middle surrounded by my stuff!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Self-Doubt and Sleeplessness

I was out reading blogs today; haven't had much time for that in the past few weeks, but today I was out surfing my usual spots.  My dear friend, Delayne of Mayfaire, raised some interesting questions about artists and self-doubt that had me reflecting and commenting.  Since I haven't blogged in a while myself, I thought I would tackle the subject here.

Here's her original post:

I believe many artists have type A personalities.  We have to be self-motivated in order to do what we do; to voluntarily stick our necks out into traffic and honk our horns for the world to see.  We also have to be a little crazy, but that's a subject for another day.

I'm usually in love with each piece of jewelry I make, as I design it, but later when I put a price on it, it doesn't always measure up to the love I felt for it when it was a newborn.  Is that because time has passed and I'm more objective?  Or because it really isn't as unique and wonderful as I originally thought? 

Turning inspiration and ideas into objects isn't an exact science.  I  imagine all sorts of wonderful creations in my head that somehow don't translate well into reality with my limited skills and bead stash.  I see jewelry all the time on Etsy that I wish I had made, luscious, colorful, gorgeous pieces with character and complexity.  When I compare my final results to those superior pieces, I'm always dissatisfied with my own work.

I study those other artist's works, the craftmanship, the cut and quality of materials and the details of each design.  Why can't I do what they do?  Why isn't my jewelry as beautiful or unique as theirs?

I've heard that question countless times from others who are just starting out, and I always have an encouraging answer for them:  in time, you will find your unique voice, your niche.  It just takes time.  We all feel doubt to some degree or another.  We all compare ourselves and our work to those around us. 

Will the self-doubt ever go away?  Not so much.  But we can live with a little doubt as long as it inspires us to improve our talents, learn new methods, hone our craft. 

I think self-doubt is a necessary evil.  As long as we don't take it personal.  As long as we don't obssess over it and reduce ourselves to defeated whimps.  I believe we have the ultimate power because we can choose how to react to doubt and fear.  We can learn from it and dismiss it, or we can be ruled and silenced by it.

This is where we really show our type A personalities, because most of us continue to make art.  Most of us don't have a choice because art chose us, and no matter how inadequate to the task we might feel, creating art is as necessary to our well-being as water and oxygen.

As long as we sell a piece now and then, we know there are others who think our art is of value, so that soothes a little of the self-doubt.

Will we get rich?  Will we sell out our entire stock at the next show?  Will publication bring fame and prosperity?

Probably not, but the odds aren't quite as bad as winning the lottery.

As for insomnia, I used to toss and turn a lot, too, but my favorite anti-depressant takes care of that now. 

My trick with my inner Mean Girl?  She can only give me constructive feedback.  Then I feed her chocolate and chase her away!

Happy trails!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Vintage Inspired Citrine and Carnelian Nuggets
Citrine and Carnelian are not stones I would normally highlight in my jewelry designs.

Yellow was my favorite color growing up because it was bright and cheerful.  The yellow walls in my teenager bedroom were offset by fairly dark olive green (shag!!) carpet, and my mom made me a quilt with yellow, olive green and orange rectangles.

Forty years later, that would be the LAST combination I would add to my interior design wish list. 

So what intrigued me about these particular stones?
  • I LOVE the shapes; rough but with smooth facets, assymetrical and large in size. 
  • Rugged and untamed, I knew they would make a statement, and lately I'm into making statement pieces. 
  • The splash of orange tickled my fancy. 
  • Vintage brass shed some warmth on the icy-looking Citrine
  • They stood on their own with no need for crystals, pearls or glass.
  • They were different from most everything else I've used in the past.
At the time I bought the Citrine nuggets, I also bought nuggets in Smokey Quartz and very light Amethyst of about the same size.  Normally I would have done something with the Amethyst nuggets first, but I had recently made a necklace with purple, olive green and yellow (Charoite, Swarovski crystals and Pineapple Quartz, a manmade glass), and I felt the pull of yellow like a sunbeam drawing me in with it's warmth.

The Carnelian beads are from a recent trip to Anoka to visit my friend and fellow artisan, Delayne. We stopped at The Garden of Beads on Main Street, where many new treasures decided they had to come home with me.  I love this beadstore; check it out here  

The Carnelian beads are smoother and more polished than the Citrine, and seem to glow from within.  I only bought a few, though, so I had to use them sparingly.

Earthy, rugged and vintage have me in their grip right now, and I'm having fun.  Maybe I'm just designing with fall in mind. 

Now, to play with lemon chrysoprase and red, red coral!



Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Day in the Life of ... an Artist?

Today is Tuesday. 

I turned on my computer because I need to respond to an e-mail from my sister regarding moving some furniture from my garage to her house in San Diego.  Have I done that yet?

.... No.

After stripping the sheets off the beds, I started my first load of laundry for the day. 

There are at least 4 more loads to do.

These are the other tasks on my to do list today:
  • Pay bills
  • Pay my Dad's bills
  • Vacuum and dust the house
  • Clean bathrooms (two of three at the very least)
  • Wash the kitchen floor
  • Look for a job
  • Make myself a new watch (I lost my picture jasper watch somewhere in my house and have finally giving up hope of ever finding it again)
Tasks that should be on my list:
  • Clean my Dad's house
  • Talk to a realtor
  • Clean out my bedroom so I can move in my grandmother's secretary
  • Sort through all the things in my garage (furniture, trunks and assorted treasures from my Dad's house
  • Figure out how to dispose of some furniture, bicycles, tvs, 1959 encyclopedias and other assorted definitely not treasures
The washing machine stopped 10 minutes ago so I should go put the sheets in the dryer and start the next load.

It's already 9:56 a.m. 

Guess I'd better get moving!

But first I'm going to have breakfast...

Hope you have a very productive day!


Thursday, June 21, 2012

News Flash!

The 2012 Easy Wire magazine is now available at your favorite bookstore or craft store! Check out my three pieces of jewelry on pages 46, 80 and 112. 

Also, I just opened a shop with Artfire.  Check it out here:

I have two new bracelets listed in this store.

That's all for now!

Happy Beading!


Monday, June 18, 2012

A Picture is Worth...

My jewelry box runneth over!

The jewelry box that I use to store my new pieces that have yet to be photographed or priced, that is!

Beautiful jewelry doesn't do anyone any good sitting in my box, of course.  You can't see it there and if you can't see it, you have no way to buy it unless you pay me a visit.  I can't list it on Etsy without a picture--well, theoretically I can, but no one will buy it if they can't see it, regardless of how beautiful or unique it is. 

So I need to get the camera out and take some pics.  Except that my expensive, digital camera is over 10 years old and a very important piece came off last week which prevents me from taking pictures.  What use is a camera that won't take a picture!?  Or read the pictures I've already taken...

It's always something!  Boy, howdy, is it ever. 

So bear with me until I get the camera fixed.  Hopefully it's fixable! 

Meanwhile, here are some pictures of pieces that aren't on Etsy yet.




Tuesday, April 10, 2012

It's a beautiful day!

No matter the weather or your plans, make it a habit to look at each day as a grand new adventure and you'll never be disapointed.

A positive attitude yields positive results.

Of course there will be days when finding something to be happy about is difficult but, as is true in most things of value in life, the more you practice the better you'll get.

Hope your day is bright with the sunshine that never dims!

Enjoy life!  It's beats the alternative....

Laurel  :)


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Arts and Crafts Show - March 2012

It's that time of year again when I'll be sitting at Southtown Mall in Bloomington, MN, hawking my baubles and wares!

Stop by if you're in the area!

Here's the pertinent information:

March 30, 31 and April 1st
Southtown Mall
Bloomington, MN
France Ave. & American Blvd.

Friday – 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Saturday – 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Sunday – 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Mention you stopped at my blog for 20% off your next jewelry purchase

You can also find me here:


Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

What a great thing, an entire day devoted to LOVE.

I stopped and saw my Dad today and gave him a card I made for him.  I gave him the chocolates last week so he offered me a couple of them.  It was nice just to sit with him enjoying our treat.

I got to see his crown.  Apparently every year the day before Valentine's Day, they crown a King and a Queen of Brightondale.  Residents get to vote, but that doesn't always determine the winner; they try to distribute the honor to people who would enjoy the honor.

They crowned my Dad King Walt.  He has the hat, which is quite impressive.  It's a cowboy hat with a red crown added to the brim.  Wish I'd had my camera, but I can bring that next time I visit.

He gets to ride in the City of New Brighton's parade this summer, in a convertible, with the Queen.

I think he'll have a great time!

Hope you do something special with your royal consort!

Happy Valentine's Day!


Friday, February 3, 2012