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 :-)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Beautiful Day

Today was absolutely gorgeous! The kind of day you want to hold onto for a long time. I had the opportunity to browse around the lovely town of Geneva, IL. It's quaint and there are several unique shops and stores where you can shop as long as your heart desires. My wonderful husband has agreed the I can transform our (my) office from it's current gender neutral decor to something more colorful and feminine to inspire me while I work. I'm going with a romantic, shabby chic style. I love traditional, but for once I want to be surrounded by all things girly and soft. One of my favorite stores there is Cocoon. They have such a wonderful selection of beautiful, eclectic home decor. And yes; I did find something there! These lovely Giclee canvas prints (pronounced "gee-clay") are a great addition to my newly designed space. They are from the company Papaya Art. You can order them online through their site, but check with your local whimsical home interior store as they may also carry some Papaya artwork. This line also has calendars, journals and greeting cards. Great for a gift to a friend OR yourself! Stay tuned for more office transformation stories!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


My first blog posting! I'm very excited and optimistic about this venture. I'm just discovering that some of the things I love the most, like writing, art, creativity, connecting, and photography can all be achieved within a blog. This is a journey for me - a path to spirit, if you would. Although I've always enjoyed my creativity in various outlets, lately, I feel as if I'm awakening for the first time, truly listening to that small voice inside. It gently prods me to try new things, it encourages me to feel confident with my artistic abilities, and it supports me as I explore.

I welcome you to share this journey with me. I promise I will share positive, fun things. I love jewelry; I'm a designer and have a small web business. No doubt, I'll share new creations with you. I LOVE my dog, so you'll see and read tons about his antics. I'm a wife, daughter and sister, so my family will definitely be part of the story (especially my crazy Irish husband!) I have a passion for cosmetics and fragrances, so I'll share new finding and loves with you. If I have or find a great idea, I will absolutely share it!

So here we go! I'm so glad your along for the trip. Thank you, in advance, for your support! It's going to be fun...