Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Faery Lights

I had a dream; a lovely dream filled with the most magical and colorful light.  The kind of light that filters through the trees on a sunny afternoon or reflects across glassy waters during a magnificent sunset.  Light that shines through colored glass and dances mysteriously across the room.  Faery lights, purple, green and gold lights.  I wanted to stay in this dream forever, wrapped in this safe and warm color, but alas, morning arrives and I am greeted by the sun with her beautiful, bright rays.  I'm awake now, but the colorful light from my dream still envelops me.  I brought something back with me from this dream...
I hope you enjoy~Sheila

Available soon at Artistic Adornments

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mission Accomplished!

I was fortunate enough to have the weekend off, and what better way to spend some quality time than to visit my favorite antique store and browse for some lucky finds.  And was I ever lucky...take a look at these pristine, vintage brass findings I acquired for a steal, along with some fabulous antique earrings and shoe clips I'm exited to use for future collage projects!


So you wonder what I have in mind for these beautiful pieces?  Here's a quick concept:


And here's a quick sneak peak at some current collage pendants and vintage necklaces I'll be posting to Artistic Adornments soon! AND...I just completed my first polymer clay pendants and I am SO HAPPY with them.  I can't wait to share!

The necklace on the left was made with a vintage shoe clip
Almost finished! Check back soon...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Do you ever have those days when everything around you is hectic, crazy and chaotic?  I do, often!  My  profession is all about "positive" chaos, which usually generates more excitement and anticipation throughout the day.  There are those times, however, when the chaos is not so positive, and I gently remind myself during those moments to "be the peace".  I spent a tremendous amount of time searching for peace outside myself.  It took a while, but what I ultimately grew to understood was that I had to be the peace I was seeking. 

Peace isn’t something you ultimately receive when you slow down the pace of your life. Peace is what you’re capable of being and bringing to every encounter and event in the waking moments of your life. Being peaceful is an inner attitude that you can enjoy when you’ve learned to silence your incessant inner dialogue. Being peaceful isn’t dependent on what your surroundings look like. It seldom has anything to do with what the people around you think, say, or do. A noiseless environment isn’t a requirement.
St. Francis’s famous prayer states it better than I can: “Make me an instrument of your peace.” In other words, St. Francis wasn’t asking God to provide him with peace. He was asking for guidance to be more like the peace he trusted was his Source. Being peace is different from looking for peace.
~Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

So when you are having one of those crazy days or moments, and begin thinking about where you can escape to find some peace, just remember that you can be the peace you seek.

A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experiences.
An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.
A loss of interest in judging other people.
A loss of interest in judging self.
A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.
A loss of interest in conflict.
A loss of ability to worry.
Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation.
Contented feelings of connectedness with others & nature
Frequent attacks of smiling, 
An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.
An increased susceptibility to accept love extended by others and the uncontrollable urge to extend it. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Don't Forget

"There is nothing new except what has been forgotten".
~Marie Antoinette

I love finding and working with items that have long been forgotten.  

Sparkling, vintage jewelry

Ornate shoe clips

and my most current project, antique chandelier pendants.  

I was inspired by mixed media artist Jessica Moreau Berry and her beautiful article in the Spring issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry.  I highly recommend a visit to her blog, "Junque Revival" and her lovely Etsy store.  Her jewelry is stunning, unique and encouraging for those of us who aspire to take our creations to a different level.  I'm giving you a sneak peak at my "test" pendant, along with some new, fun earrings I had fun making.  


The final creations are almost complete and will be added to my Artistic Adornments website within the next couple of weeks.  Of course I'll also share some pics with you here :-)  I'm really excited about these new creations as well as some new, whimsical soldered pendants I think you all will love.  I also experimented with crystals...another inspiring project from Belle Armoire's latest issue!  A special thanks to Jessica and her willingness to share such beautiful knowledge.  Speaking of beautiful, I wish you all a beautiful weekend!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Next Five...

"You don't have to take life the way it comes to you.  You can design your life to come to you the way you want it.  This is your life, your one-and-only life, and you don't want to miss any part of it.  So, what is it going to be?  You decide.  Starting today, you can make the next five years the most exciting, satisfying, productive and amazing years of your life so far - or just another five years".  
~ Dan Zadra, author of The 5 Book.
I had a somewhat challenging day yesterday.  It was one of those "feel sorry for myself, cry about what I could have or should have done differently years ago, I should be doing more, I'm not completely satisfied with all aspects of my life" kind of days. I believe we all have them and although we may  not always enjoy them at the time, I think these days can be very instrumental in helping us grow and move forward in new directions, if we choose to use them to our advantage.  This morning, I was still feeling somewhat blue, when I glanced over at the bookshelf, and this small red book caught my eye.  It was a gift from a dear friend a few years ago. I've read it before, but it's been a while.  I pulled it out, and began to read a few arbitrary pages, when it hit me like a lightening bolt.  Why am a getting caught up in the drama of small,  insignificant things?  I have the power and the ability to change my perception about my life and move forward with purpose to change the things I find unsatisfactory or unacceptable.  This book was exactly what I needed to help me shift my focus from lack and disappointment to excitement and anticipation about the future.  The title of the book is simply "5" Where will you be five years from today? "This book celebrates the want to's, the choose to's and the I can't wait to's in your life".  It's a simple yet thought-provoking read about the power we all hold to be the architect of our life.  I highly recommend it as an instrument to get you thinking about how to navigate your dreams and desires.  Now I'm off to work with a new and improved attitude.

"Because of our routines, we forget that life is an ongoing adventure". 
~Maya Angelou

Enjoy the adventure today!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Think Like a Child

Les Demoiselles d’Avignon

All children are artists. 
The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.
~Pablo Picasso

One of my favorite things to do is to watch children playing.  While they play, they do not worry about the end result; they become totally immersed in the moment.  They become completely engaged in their activities, with no thought of who is watching, what others think about it, or how unorganized their play space becomes. They really don't even have a "play space".  The world is their canvas and they have not yet learned how to consistently doubt themselves, as we often do as adults.  I urge you to use children or even animals as role models (I say animals because I just watched my crazy and lovable dog chase his tail round and round - I was laughing so hard! He didn't care.  He was just having fun).  Embrace your inner child and add some pure, unbiased and unbridled play to your day.  Don't go into every project with the end result solidified.  Sometimes, it's fun to just allow the process to unfold naturally and organically.  Now, I'm going to go pet my dog some more!



Monday, March 15, 2010

Little Things

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.  
~Robert Brault

Why not learn to enjoy the little things - there are so many of them.  
~Author Unknown

 If we shall take the good we find, asking no questions, we shall have heaping measures.  
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures.  
~H. Jackson Brown, Jr., Life's Little Instruction Book

Have you ever noticed that, oftentimes, the small pleasures in life make you just as happy as the big, elaborate ones?  It took me a while to figure that one out, but as I move through this wonderful world, I am amazed at how much wonder and surprise the small things add to my life.  Experiencing a spectacular sunrise or sunset and catching in perfectly in the lens; spending a few uninterrupted moments petting my dog; relishing a meaningful hug from my husband or receiving a phone call from a long distance friend at just the right moment.  All these "little" things are so precious and give me the energy and stamina to keep moving forward.  I urge you to take an inventory of your life and make sure to take note of all the small things for which you are grateful.  Also, remember to be aware of your surroundings and be on the lookout for small treasures, like these beautiful vintage rings I found at the antique store last week! They definitely didn't break the bank, but oh do they make me happy when I wear them :-)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Create Some Magic!

"Magic cannot be created without inspiration.  There needs to be a spark to ignite the process and intention of creating objects that hypnotize and captivate".
Cynthia Thornton, Mixed Media Artist, owner of Green Girl Studios and author of Enchanted Adornments, a step-by-step project book for creating mixed-media jewelry with metal clay, wire, resin and more.  

What inspires you?  What ignites that little spark in you that pushes you forward to create magic? I'm continually thinking about the things in my life that cultivate creativity, and it's not just one specific person, place or thing that gets me going.  It's a collaboration of several special elements - the beauty of nature; informative resources, such as the lovely book Enchanted Adornments; elegant vintage style; the support of my dear family and friends; and a vision to complete something that makes people happy and myself proud.  Along the way, every day, I have to learn to believe in myself to allow the creative process to flow freely.  I truly want my creations to "hypnotize and captivate", but in order for this to occur, I must be confident in my concepts and ideas.  Some projects are challenging, and never come to full fruition.  But those projects serve as learning opportunities to become a better artist and more seasoned student.  Other projects exceed expectations.  These are the projects, I believe, that are created with true inspiration.  So get out there and explore what lights that fire within you.  Chances are, you already know what it is; just embrace it and go create some magic for the world to enjoy!

Friday, March 12, 2010

A New Day

Try something new today...
Expect something new today...
Embrace and cherish today!

These inspiring and beautiful affirmations are from one of my favorite authors, Louise L. Hay.  Her book, You Can Heal Your Life, will always be one of my very favorite things.  I wish you all a day filled with wonder, magic and peace.  Till we meet again...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Dont' Lose Your Muchness

I had the pleasure this weekend of disconnecting from this reality for a while to enter the magical "Wonderland" that belongs to Alice Kingsley! For the many Alice in Wonderland fans out there, you almost certainly remember when the Mad Hatter reveals to Alice that she has "lost her muchness".  I'm not sure how you felt when you heard these words, but it almost took my breath away.  I think I'm definitely part of a huge collective that experienced an epiphany when those words were shared with the hesitant Alice.  I made a commitment at that very moment that I would do whatever it takes to maintain my muchness.  

Think about it for a while - what is your muchness?  

What is it that makes you special, that gives you the spark and determination to spread your wings and continue on a path that is less traveled, when those around you do not agree, support or understand you?  

What drives you to create, to abandon all preconceived expectations and try something new?  What innately leads you to explore uncharted territories, climb higher mountains and continue going the distance, time after time?

It's your muchness, my dears, and it belongs to  you and only you.  Only you have the power and ability to define it, nourish it and above all respect and cherish it.  My hat is off to all of you and your lovely muchness!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Life Measured Out in Coffee Spoons...


I had the day off work today, but had a million little things to do.  Groceries, post office, pet store...you get my drift.  I also had to take a quick jaunt to the charming town of Geneva, IL to pick up some additional antique chandelier pendants for my next jewelry project.  There are several antique stores in Geneva, but my personal favorite is the Geneva Antique Market.  I exercised constraint, and only purchased what I needed, with the exception of one little special find (more to come on that treasure).  Directly across the street from the Market is the wonderful Odalisque, a quaint little beauty apothecary which carries an assortment of trendy cosmetics,  skincare and some unique fragrances that you won't find in your local department store.  I think I've mentioned that I am a fragrance fanatic.  I love scents of all sorts - perfumes, candles, lotions, potions, incense and anything else that makes you and your home smell yummy.  So you can imagine my delight when, after sniffing several of the newest offerings, I discovered my new favorite, "Field Notes from Paris", from Ineke Perfumer San Francisco.  A woody oriental with notes of coriander seed, orange flowers, tobacco flower and leaf, patchouli, tonka bean and leather.  I love woody scents the most because they are comforting to me, like a leather filled library. Ineke aimed to capture "the romantic, nostalgic feeling of sitting at a café and writing in a journal while lingering for hours over a cafe crème".  So, I couldn't resist, and there's a lesson in this.  I felt a little guilty at first, but then I remembered that life is short.   Although we shouldn't give into our every whim and purchase everything we desire, it's okay to occasionally get that special little something that makes us feel happy and satisfied.  I really smell good right now :-)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Beauty and Money


I'm so excited!  One of my favorite publications and where I find a tremendous amount of inspiration is "Belle Armoire Jewelry", which features artisan jewelry made from a variety of talented artists and techniques.  Although I certainly don't try everything included in each issue, I take away bits and pieces for my custom jewelry design.  Several months ago, I acquired some beautiful crystal prisms from an antique chandelier.  I have held onto them with the certainty that some day, I would find the perfect use for them and now I have!  Stay tuned for my preliminary experiment, but I will confirm that the beautiful "Money and Beauty" artwork will definitely be included in my initial designs.  Aren't these girls gorgeous?  It's so invigorating when your creative juices begin to flow and you simply cannot wait to begin a new project.  I'm confident these pieces will be some of my best and most unique to date...coming soon!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


On Giving
 Kahlil Gibran
There are those who give little of the much which they have--and they give it for recognition and their hidden desire makes their gifts unwholesome.
And there are those who have little and give it all.
These are the believers in life and the bounty of life, and their coffer is never empty.
There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.
And there are those who give with pain, and that pain is their baptism.
And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue;
They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space.
Through the hands of such as these God speaks, and from behind their eyes He smiles upon the earth.

I just love Kahlil Gibran's work.  For those of you who are not familiar, I encourage you to take a few moments out of your busy day, slowly read a few lines of his poetry and ponder his beautiful words.  My favorite is "The Prophet".  A true treat for your soul.  I especially love his thoughts regarding giving.  A good friend of mine recently surprised me with some very special vintage jewelry that belonged to a dear relative of hers who had passed away.  She has been supportive of my handcrafted jewelry endeavors and wanted me to have these special adornments for future creations.  What a thoughtful and unexpected treat!  The pieces I ultimately make with this lovely jewelry will always remind me of the priceless act of giving freely and without expectation of something in return; for that is what true giving is about!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Magic of March



If I could control the weather, I would ensure that March would be the first day of Spring (and it would also be a warm Spring!)  This is one of my favorite times of the year.  The days are getting lighter and longer, the snow is slowly melting and the anticipation of Spring makes us all excited and a little more motivated.  February can seem like such a long month, although it's the shortest one!  When March arrives, I immediately  feel more alive and relieved that the beauty of winter will soon be behind us.  Don't get me wrong, I love the snow and the magic that surrounds the colder months, but there's something very magical and symbolic that encompasses the arrival of Spring.  The world is waking up again!  Renewal, birth, awakening and transformation are all elements of this wonderful season, which encourages more creativity in my life.  I've been wanting to create some lively and colorful Spring pendants, so I took the opportunity to work on a few pieces when I worked on my friend's custom Lotus necklace.  They are not complete, but I hope their bright color palette will brighten your day! 
Feelings are like the weather, constantly shifting and changing – sometimes dark, sometimes light, at times wild and intense, at other times calm and quiet. Trying to resist your feeling experience is like trying to control the weather – an exercise in futility and frustration! Besides, if all we ever experienced were sunny days of exactly 75-degree temperature, life might become boring after a while. When we can appreciate the beauty of the rain, the wind, and the snow as well as the sun, then we will be free to experience the fullness of life.

I accept and appreciate all the varieties of my internal “weather.”