Wednesday

Starry Winter Nights


Starry, starry night...paint your palette blue and grey...I can't help singing the lyrics to Don Mcleans song as I post this.  Artbeads.com Winter Enchantment theme this month immediately brought to mind the winter skies.  My husband and I love to stargaze and have a telescope to view through for especially beautiful clear nights. Winter is a great time for stargazing. Even though the winter nights are chilly, the skies are clear and the stars are bright. Winter is a great time to stargaze and look for new constellations.   Using the Winter enchantment theme I picked sparkly and dark blues for my colors and here is the finished project which I call "Starry Nights".  I went a few steps further and beaded some crystal stars in two sizes to dangle and sparkle from the delicate silver chain.

Oh I am loving these Cosmic Oval Swarovskis...this is the Bermuda Blue color which is so beautiful and has an irridescent blue/silver quality to it.  These just beg "Do something with me".  They can be used as connectors for bracelets, necklaces and earrings.  I love them!! The larger oval is the golden shadow color.  I wanted a bit of contrast instead of going all blue.  I had to connect them, but didn't want to hide the sparkle of the crystal, so a thin beaded connection was needed. Once I had the two rings connected, I went one step further and beaded some crystal stars which I dangled from a delicate silver cable chain.  This is one of the smallest and most delicate chains.  A very nice simple dangle using 3mm and 4mm crystals to make two different size stars.
 Notice the teeny weeny, little, itty bitty blue beads which I used on the silver beaded connector?  Those are actually the fantastic 2mm swarovski crystal faceted rounds.  I needed something very very small to add sparkle to the connector and those were perfect.  Using size 15 seed beads which are very small for the connector requires a very small bead embellishment.  I used the capri blue color and it matched the cosmic oval ring perfectly.

Once my earrings were done I couldn't just put a plain ear wire on it.  If you have had problems with missing earrings a sterling lever back hook is perfect.  After spending all this time beading these earrings I don't want to lose them and the sterling lever backs are a must.  They have a safety catch on the back which avoids earrings slipping out of your ear.  Artbeads carries them and that was a must to finish off this project

As a reviewer of products for artbeads.com, I received the crystal components, silver chain and earring backs free of charge. I have been asked to review these products and give my honest opinion of these products positive of negative. I am not being compensated by artbeads for my endorsement as it pertains to the products being received and reviewed

Monday

Valentine Comfort

Every valentines day I make my husband breakfast in bed, which I did again today just to make him feel special.  Instead of going out to dinner like we usually do I wanted to make a nice comfort food dinner at home.  We love Italian food and I spent most of the day shopping for ingredients and then chopping, dicing, and planning the evening Valentine dinner.  I decided on Spaghetti Marinara with a zuchinni spaghetti salad and garlic bread.  For dessert, Chocolate covered strawberries.  After reading the book Eat this, Not that it amazed me just how many things which we thought were healthy were actually not.  Even the things that said low fat, low sodium, low sugar, what an eye opener.   I guess this is one of the reasons I like cooking at home.  I know what is in my food this way and I cook healthy.
Marinara sauce I made from scratch.  Here I added the sauteed onions and mushrooms
to the italian plum tomatoes. 

This was something new I tried from Real Housewives of New Jerseys ,Teresa Giudice's cookbook.  It is a light salad with a lemon juice and olive oil dressing and seasonings with fresh parmesan.  No, it's not spaghetti...at least not pasta spaghetti..this is zucchini which I julienned with a special peeler, in loooong strips to look like pasta.  This was so good I want to try it with shrimp next time as a simple meatless dinner or lunch dish.

Lemon, olive oil dressing
It was all worth the running around and cooking etc., to see the surprised look on my husbands face tonight.  Happy Valentines day honey!  I firmly believe in this quote “I've Learned That People Will Forget What You Said, People Will Forget What You Did, but People Will Never Forget How You Made Them Feel.” and I love making my husband feel special! 

Thursday

Lost and Found Valentine

I looked in the garden today thinking, it's time for spring clean up...and saw a little alyssum that had survived the winter and was blooming away...I went to take a picture of it and lo and behold...a missing earring (swarovski crystal one) that I dearly loved was lying right next to it...A HEART...my little valentine heart find today...I immediately thought of loved ones who had passed..thinking maybe they sent it to me with their love...Am I reading way too too much into this? I think not...but what a wonderful way to start my day.


Tuesday

Grandmas Pearls

Grandmas Pearls
My grandmothers birthday is coming up.  She will be 103.  When she turned 100 I decided to make her something 'beadiful' for her birthdays from here on.  I firmly believe that although one is 100 you are still young at heart and enjoy little luxuries.  Forget about the soap and bath salts that are practical, if you can live this long you deserve special things and I hope she thinks they're special.  She held out on using a walker until she absolutely had to and same for the wheel chair, and she still climbs those steep stairs to her house, but now goes down the stairs one by one on her butt...she's as sharp as a tack and when she smiles she still has that little irish twinkle in her eye and great sense of humor.  I have to admit having a little selfish want in all of this too.  I want a picture of my grandmother wearing her jewelry so that I have it to look at every day and know that even at 100 your beautiful.  I live over 1000 miles away which is why I want those pictures.
These are brushed silver swarovski pearls and swarovski crystals.  She doesn't know it yet but this will be my grandmothers birthday gift at the end of February.  I love making this necklace it lies so nicely around the nape of the neck and I love the feel of the smooth cool pearls too.
My Grandmother Lucille
She is wearing the flower garden necklace I made her for her 101st birthday of pearls and crystals
This is the pin I made her for her 100th birthday

Monday

Leather and Chains


Leather and Chains - December 2010
Well, here it is, this is the leather and chain project I had going this weekend contrary to what others were visualizing.  This is a great bracelet to make which is quick and easy.  Using three lengths of chain I wove a length of pink leather strip through it to join it all.  To hide all the ends, end caps were used with a lobster clasp.  I think this is a very unisex look depending on the chain you use too.

Friday

Fun With Hearts

 I am having so much fun with these little hearts.  Every valentines day I pick up some new heart design and go crazy with it.  The fact that the center has a sparkling rivoli just adds to my love of this design.  Tweaking and changing things to the pattern, to suit my taste, helped accomodate larger or smaller rivolis.
 
The photo quality is not my best, I'll upload better images later but I wanted to at least post them for those who were wondering what I was working on this month.

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