Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Shift

“Remember to be gentle with yourself and others. We are all children of chance and none can say why some fields will blossom while others lay brown beneath the August sun. Care for those around you. Look past your differences. Their dreams are no less than yours, their choices no more easily made. And give, give in any way you can, of whatever you posses. To give is to love. To withhold is to wither. Care less for your harvest than for how it is shared and your life will have meaning and your heart will have peace.”

I just had the opportunity to watch a beautiful movie, "The Shift" by Dr. Wayne Dyer. I can't explain how refreshing and uplifting it was for me, especially during a time when most of us are feeling a bit drained, tired and maybe a little bit sad because the holidays are coming to an end. Although this lovely movie provides an abundance of knowledge and guidance, one main focus resides in the area of giving of oneself to make this world a better place. Not giving because it's expected or because you anticipate something in return, but giving selflessly and without expectations. A new year will soon be upon us, and provides us with an opportunity to reach out to help others in need. I am challenging myself to look for avenues to give more in 2010, and I encourage you all to do the same. May God Bless you all, and Happy New Year!

"The Sun Never Says" --Hafiz
Even after all this time
the sun never says to the earth, "You owe Me."
Look what happens with a love like that,
It lights up the Whole Sky.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Mountain Vacation

I simply cannot believe that it's been an entire month since I've last posted to my blog! Although it is an ongoing "work in progress", I still aspire to post more often than a month at a time. For those of you who do occasionally read my posts, I sincerely apologize. During this past month, I am happy to report that I actually went on vacation to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. For those of you who are not familiar, I encourage you to do a little research. It makes for the perfect mountain escape. The air was crisp, the weather was perfect - sunshine the entire time - and I was able to spend much needed valuable time with friends and family. This made it the perfect little getaway. My brother and his lovely fiance also finally tied the knot! A time of celebration and wonderful memories to last a lifetime. Speaking of memories, just a reminder that as we are all getting into the holiday festivities, which can sometimes feel overwhelming and draining, don't forget that each day we are making memories and we choose whether they are good and positive, or negative and bad. Remember to continually give thanks while fighting the crowds during shopping! Keeping your attitude on the right track will ensure that your holiday season gets off to a smooth start and stays that way! Cheers and happy shopping! Don't forget to check out Artistic Adornments for some great holiday gift ideas :-)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fun with Makeup!

Okay everyone it's time to start thinking about your Halloween costumes if you haven't already! I LOVE Halloween. It's the one holiday that allows you to completely transform yourself and become whatever you want to be for an evening. I know we all have alter egos :-) When playing around with ideas, keep in mind that it can be relatively simple to change your persona with just a little makeup. It doesn't have to be complicated. You can change your overall appearance with just a few colorful strokes. For my Halloween look, I've decided on a peacock theme as suggested by one of my lovely co-workers. I adore the bright colorful hues and vibrant appearance this look provides. If I'm brave enough, I'll post pics! To explore some fun and whimsical makeup looks, check out this great site: www.taaz.com. Click on the Photo Gallery link for some great photos of artistic makeup designs. You can even upload your photo and become a "virtual" makeup and hairstylist! Enjoy!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Being Thankful!

I really enjoy the ability and opportunity to share things with friends and family via my blog. While contemplating the content of my post for today, I started thinking about basic things that enhance my life and make it better. I could never list or write about them all, but I feel truly blessed with my life - my family, my friends, my dog. I could go on and on. I appreciate the love that surrounds me. I'm always reminded of a prayer that I say often, and I'd like to share it with you. The first time I read it, I was brought to tears. I hope you are touched by it as well, whether you know it well or are being exposed to it for the first time. It's by St. Francis of Assisi, who was the patron saint of animals (no wonder why I have an affinity for him!).

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury,pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;

and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;

to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

Sunday, October 25, 2009


There's nothing I love more than a beautiful Sunday walk during the peak of Fall season. The colors are so incredibly intense, the air is crisp and clean and time just seems to slow down a little. I don't know about you, but most of the time, I feel like I'm in turbo mode, busy with multitasking daily responsibilities! These wonderful "time out" walks give me an opportunity to stand back, exhale and take in all the beauty that surrounds me. I also find inspiration in nature. The color palettes that occur in the rich hues of the Autumn season provide me with ideas for creating, both in jewelry and makeup, believe it or not! I just love the deep yellow, scarlet red and burnt orange colors of the turning leaves, along with the brilliant blue of a clear sky. I encourage you to take time out of your busy schedules over the next couple of weeks to get out and take a nice, long walk. You may find that you are actually exhaling as well!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Forward Momentum!

I'm really excited to share some news with you... as of yesterday, I have my first official boutique assignment for my handcrafted jewelry! A year ago, I was only imagining that I would see my creations in a cute boutique, and today, that thought has manifested into reality. Proof that what you focus on consistently will ultimately come to fruition. The boutique is "Simply Sassy's" in Geneva, IL. They cater to local artists who need a venue for displaying their handcrafted works. They are in the process of designing a website, but the pictures I've displayed will give you an idea of their setup. This simple positive move for me gives me the encouragement to continue moving forward with allowing more and more creativity in my life. I hope you do the same. Have a fantastic day!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It's been at least a month since my last blog post. I've turned another year older since my last entry! Wow, how time flies when you are having fun! I just love having an October birthday. I'm a true Libra and have been thinking a lot lately about balance. I started a new job, which I'm totally enjoying, but now is the time when that delicate balancing act comes into play. Most of us have lives that are filled to capacity. Careers, families, friends, hobbies, etc. all demanding our attention and affection. This is a great thing, don't get me wrong. I do believe, however, that it's very easy to get off track and allow our focus and goals to become scattered and sometimes forgotten. When you begin to feel a little overwhelmed, it's time to remind yourself to step back, take a deep breath and relax. Reevaluate, reorganize and start over, if necessary, to get yourself back into balance. If you are overwhelmed and going in a million different directions, you can't expect anything else in your life to maintain consistency. Don't beat yourself if it takes a little time to get back on track. I'm not going to! Although I've taken a little time off from jewelry designing, I have been focusing on my other love, makeup artistry. Don't be surprised if you see some fun things posted about that area of my life also. Just remember...it's all good!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Key to Creativity

"Creativity: a mental and social process involving the generation of new ideas or concepts, or new associations of the creative mind between existing ideas or concepts". I love the process of creating something new that begins with just an idea then materializes into something tangible and real. Somedays, it's very easy to engage the process; however, some days require a little more work and thought to get the creative juices flowing. I have found that I encounter most of my creative blocks when I am thinking too hard about an idea, and in essence try to force thoughts instead of allowing them. One of the most successful keys to creativity is to just open up and let go! Instead of holding fast to rigid ideas, let your mind go free to wonder and imagine. There are absolutely no limits when you approach your work in this manner, and you may be surprised at what comes to you in these uninhibited moments. Don't judge your thoughts, embrace them. Don't compare your ideas; use them as an opportunity to become better and better at what you create! The key to creativity....ALLOW! (PS - this lovely key pin is going to made into a necklace which I totally plan on keeping! It's a Kramer of New York. Kramer was a leader in making fine costume jewelry in the 1940's. It's in excellent condition, and I got it for a steal!! LOVE when this happens).

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Vintage Shoe Clips

While browsing through my favorite antique shop, I stumbled across some items that were beautiful, ornate and perfect for repurposing. But what were these lovely items? I knew they were not earrings or brooches, but they had served some purpose years ago. After carefully selecting my choices, I inquired with the antique specialist for more education regarding these pieces. "Vintage shoe clips". How fun and exciting! I've always had an affinity for antique jewelry, but never knew about shoe clips. I can't wait to experiment with these great items to create something new and whimsical! Stay tuned for end results.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I've been working on a special "locket" project for the last few weeks, and I'm so excited because the necklace is finally complete! The first step in this process was to locate the perfect vintage locket. Per the request of the customer, it had to be large, unique and very heavy duty. I was excited to receive this job because I love vintage lockets. My problem with using them for my jewelry designs is that I usually want to hold onto them instead of actually passing them along. For this project, however, keeping the necklace is not an option. After several weeks of searching, I did find the perfect locket! While searching for the special piece, I also found a lovely vintage brooch with the most beautiful blue crystal stones. And guess what...I was inspired to make another necklace! I really do want to keep this one, but I did post it to my retail site. Lisa's locket is now complete, but so is Moody Blues! Inspiriation and creativity flow hand in hand. When looking for a particular item, always keep your eyes open for other possible great finds. Two for the price of one...well, kind of!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Apples To Oranges

I thoroughly enjoy making jewelry. I love having creative outlets, and jewelry design provides me with a wonderful opportunity to express myself individually. There are several people out there - artists, writers, composers, bakers, homemakers, etc. who embrace their abilities to create something out of nothing. Sometimes, though, it's easy to lose track of individuality and compare ourselves to others. With a huge world full of blessed and talented creators, all who possess varied skills and expertise, it can be difficult for us to focus on what we have to offer without harsh self criticism. This judgment usually shows up when we have critiqued our beautiful creations because they don't look like someone else's, they were a new concept or someone just didn't like them.

While making my jewelry, I decided early on to be kind to myself and refrain from comparisons. I love looking at other designers' creations from a place of admiration and appreciation, but I refuse to look at them from a place of jealously, envy or self devaluation. Being able to step back and know that my work is just that...mine. My vision, my plan, my creation. It's a fact that not everyone will love my earrings or necklaces; it's also a fact that many will absolutely adore them. And that's where I choose to apply my focus.

I love both apples and oranges. I enjoy the fact that they are each unique in texture, color and taste. Although they are both nutritious and healthy, they offer different vitamins, minerals and caloric intake! We are all like apples and oranges. So if you are an apple, you will never look like an orange...but you are just as important, unique and juicy :-)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

New Pendants Are Here!

I told you they were coming...and they are finally ready to share! Beautiful, new pendants with unique vintage art and a couple of stained glass pieces with antique repurposed jewelry incorporated! I really had fun making these necklaces, especially seeing the stained glass and vintage jewelry come together. You continually need to try new things to become better at your craft, at least that is the case with me. These pendants will be available for purchase soon on my website, so check back within a few days for listings (http://www.artisticadornments.com/).

I just started a new job, so I begin the excercise of delicately balancing family, creative time and work. Please wish me luck with that endeavor. It's important to make absolutely certain that all those things stay on an even footing, otherwise, it's easy to suffer from burnout. Worse yet, you may end up neglecting your most enjoyable outlets. I'm determined not to let that happen and to continue on this wonderful path of creating and sharing!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

"Readorned and Remembered"

I love the act of "adorning" things. My jewelry website is appropriately named "Artistic Adornments". If you look at some of my designs, you will see that I have repurposed antique, vintage jewely in some of my pieces. I called this "Readorned and Remembered". How many of us have old, yet beautiful jewelry that was handed down to us from our mothers, grandmothers, great aunts etc. that although they are sentimental and lovely, they just are not up to date, so to speak? It's so interesting and fun to take these pieces and turn them into something that can be worn today with pride. This way, the jewelry can still be treasured and the memory attached to the piece(s) can be maintained. I frequent local antique stores and markets to browse for these vintage type jewels. Today was an absolutely gorgeous day, and I went treasure hunting for some inspiration. And was I oh so lucky! I found some reasonably priced vintage earrings, 3 pair, that I cannot wait to readorn!! They are so romantic and elegant; the type pieces that lend themselves to the bridal genre or special occasion category. I cannot wait to see what creations result from these lovely finds. Perhaps you will begin thinking about things you can have "Readorned and Remembered"!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

New Pendants On the Way!

Even though I have a tremendous amount of inventory in my shop, I cannot help but to continue creating new things! I love the process of starting out with an idea and seeing it come to full fruition. I look for inspiring and unique artwork, look for new approaches and ideas, and finally decide on some new creations. I just found some beautiful, new artwork from one of my digital collage contacts, ArtCult. Her approach is varied and dimensional. There's no one else out there with her unique style. She utilizes vintage art and, much like the style of my jewelry, makes it into something modern and "now", marrying the old with the new.
Another new approach I'm excited to see materialize: the use of some beautiful stained glass pieces I plan to solder into pendants. The colors I've chosen to use are absolutely stunning and will compliment a variety of backgrounds. I love soldering photo/pic pendants, but being able to step beyond the usual material suspects into a new arena is gratifying. It's evidence of creative spirit in action! Please check back soon for pics of my new pieces, just in time for Fall! (PS, I'm also working on finishing up some really cute "sexy witches" Halloween pendants that are not your average holiday jewelry).

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Celebrate Summer!

I know; I haven't posted in a few days! I was visiting my family in Georgia, where I had a great time reconnecting with friends and family. While there, I had my fill of sweet tea, fantastic Southern style food and home baked sweets. I returned to Illinois with a renewed interest in the art of Southern cooking. I wanted to bake something especially tasty and decadent to maintain the memory of home. I looked at a few recipes, then to my surprise, a friend dropped off some zucchini fresh from her homegrown garden! So, I quickly began my search for the perfect zucchini bread recipe. Can you imagine where I looked first? You guessed it - good ole' Paula Dean, straight from Savannah, GA! She has a simple, yet absolutely delicious recipe for perfectly moist and pecan-filled zucchini bread. This recipe yields enough for 2 loaves. I even dropped one off to my mother-in-law :-) There's no denying that our beautiful summer days are slowly coming to an end. Savor them by using summer garden vegetables and fruits to celebrate! Here's the zucchini bread recipe I encourage you to try! I doubled the pecan serving and was not disappointed!


  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, nutmeg, baking soda, cinnamon and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine oil, eggs, water, zucchini and lemon juice. Mix wet ingredients into dry, add nuts and fold in. Bake in 2 standard loaf pans, sprayed with nonstick spray, for 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Alternately, bake in 5 mini loaf pans for about 45 minutes.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Pendant Worth Making!

(This is the pendant I'm giving to my aunt)

For those of you who enjoy creative outlets, if you are anything like me, your middle name is "multi-task". I'm still working on my office project, but I needed to spend some time working on my jewelry this afternoon. I'm really excited about the most recent design endeavor. I found the most gorgeous artwork a few days ago that beautifully captures the breast cancer awareness ribbon. I'm especially dedicated to this cause because one of my favorite aunts was diagnosed with breast cancer about a year ago (she's doing fantastic now), and several of my close friends have also battled with this disease. My aunt's birthday was a couple of weeks ago, so I wanted to do something special for her. I started with the plan of making her a soldered pendant with the ribbon artwork, but then thought it was a good idea to send her two lovely daughters one as well. Then I really wanted to keep one for myself, so long story short, I ended up making a few breast cancer awareness pendants! I'm not sure how to do it yet, but would love to make these for my website and donate a certain percentage of the sale to this cause.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Redesign Recommittment

Happy Monday! So it's been another exceptionally hot day, and once again,I took advantage of the indoor time. Yesterday was a day of rest; today I recommitted to my office redesign project. One of the challenges I have with my office space is organization of my jewelry. I maintain inventory in my home, and I'm constantly working on new things, so I have sparkling "things" everywhere. I appreciate my jewelry, and envisioned the possibility of somehow incorporating it into the overall design. After brainstorming and researching ideas, I decided on the picture frame idea approach provided by Lisa Bluhm. It's similar to utilizing a basic corkboard to display your items, but I was oh so fortunate to find some beautiful and decorative memory board frames at my local Homegoods store. To take it a step further, I going to actually hang the frames on beautiful wrought iron hangers I also found at Homegoods. I love this store! I always find something, and the prices are so reasonable. The best thing about this idea is that my necklaces are now easy to access when I receive an order, they are organized and they work beautifully in the new decor motif!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sleepy Sunday

What an incredibly hot day! And I took full advantage of the opportunity to stay indoors and relax. I took a day off from my office redecoration project (and no, I didn't even shop online), nor did I work on my website or my jewelry, for that matter. Today was about resting and spending time with my hubby and pup. R&R is so important; we get so immersed in our daily, busy lives that sometimes we forget to just "disconnect" with the outer and "reconnect" with the inner. I practice meditation for this reconnection purpose and several other reasons. It's a practice that allows me to truly let go and just allow my thoughts to flow, which is where I firmly believe some of my creativity evolves. One of my favorite meditations is by internationally acclaimed author and meditation guide Kelly Howell. She utilizes brain wave therapy, which uses subliminal messages to help improve various aspects of one's life. My favorite Kelly Howell meditation is Fulfill Your Heart's Desire, which focuses on "increasing your attracting force, gaining clarity of intention, accelerating manifestation and generating states of joy and well being". I am a firm believe that it works. If you have an iPod, just search for Kelly Howell. She has several items you can download. I highly encourage it. Now I'm off to bed to meditate - good night, all!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Treasure Hunt And Found!

So today was less about beautiful weather - it rained - but more about exploring creative nooks and crannies. With the purchase of my beautiful Papaya Art giclee print, I realized that a traditional hook and nail would not be sufficient for displaying them appropriately. I did some searches on line, then visited my nearest Hobby Lobby store for brainstorming ideas. After searching isle after isle, and sifting through Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas merchandise (yet it is out already), I found the perfect solution! Given my desire for a shabby, romantic style office theme, I was immediately drawn to these antique white beautiful aged metal crown hooks. Whimsical and feminine in style, I snatched them up immediately. I can't wait to hang them and display my prints! I have so many additional ideas for this room transformation! The great thing is that if you look long and hard enough, you don't have to spend a significant amount of money to make a space personal and beautiful. If you have a local Hobby Lobby, spend a little time browsing. You may be surprised at what you find :-)