Digital Elements in the blog header from Hidden Vintage Studios and Holliwood Studios @

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Many Peppers & Still More Summer!

I don't like to brag or anything but my peppers I planted in my pots are beating Gary's peppers in the raised garden bed! Yahoo! Check out these Cubanella peppers.....

How about these hot banana peppers? I planted four plants in this pot and I counted 32 peppers with still more blossoms! These are so good stuffed with spicy turkey sausage.

Here comes August!!!! We still have more summer left and as August the month for beach vacations so in honor of August, I broke out the sea glass. You can find these wire wrapped sea glass necklaces over at Honey Girl Studio Jewelry.

I found this short poem about August that I really like by R. Combe Miller

Fairest of the months!
Ripe summer's queen

The hey-day of the year

With robes that gleem with sunny sheen
Sweet August doth appear

This charm bracelet is made with new teal batik fabric I got last week. I love the deep blue color.

I think Shakespeare put it best with this quote, "Summer's lease hath all too short a date". Enjoy the last one third of summer!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Flight 77 of the Monarch Butterfly

When I was about 11 years old, so this was around 1977, I remember a swarm of Monarch butterflies came sweeping into the yard, sticking to the rough bark of the maple trees surrounding our house and clinging to the leaves. It was pure magic to me! Of all the places to make a pitstop and they chose my yard! My mom had a hurricane lamp with a huge green globe on the the top of it in the living room, so I plucked up about 20 butterflies, went through the side door on the porch and deposited them inside the globe of the lamp, sort of like my own little butterfly garden! Well, she didn't know what I was up to because she was in the kitchen cooking supper and when we sat down at the table to eat supper, blurs of orange and black started to flutter throught the air above the kitchen table. That's when mom jumped up and grabbed the fly swatter and started to chase the Monarch butterflies through the house with me yelling "don't hurt them, I put them in the globe of the hurricane lamp!".......however they escaped and were all clinging to the lace curtains in the living room! Isn't it funny how I can vividly remember the strangest occurance from 34 years ago but can't remember if I put the garage door down from 5 minutes ago!?!?!?

Anywho......this necklace was inspired by that summer. You can find it over at the Honey Girl Studio Jewelry Shop.

Hey, stay cool! It's 98 degrees here in Northwestern Pennsylvania and very humid

Monday, July 19, 2010

New Jewelry, ICE Resin, Conneaut Ohio and Flowers

Ok, I'm going to cover a variety of "stuff" today in this posting.........
First I'd like to thank my dear friend Tracey over at Glitterbug Studios for creating my new fantastic banner. She really knows my artistic eye and picked the perfect things to put into the banner. Thanks little sista!

Gary and I went to Conneaut Ohio to Lake Erie yesterday. It was a beautiful day! This is a picture of the little light house in the harbor. We had lunch at the White Turkey Drive-In in Conneaut. It's my favorite place to eat there. They have the best turkey sandwiches and the rootbeer is served in frosted heavy glass mugs. There's Gary sitting on the right up against the wall.

On the way out of Conneaut there is this old building. I think at one time it was a gas station. How stinkin' cute is it!?!?!? I think it would make a great studio!

I wanted to show you my Clematis. They did very well this year. Of course earlier in the spring I juiced them with a little Miracle Grow. This is the one on the back porch.........

This is the one on one side of the front porch......

This is the one on the other side of the front porch........

This pot is on my mom's patio and her flowers are pretty fabulous this summer. I joke with her that watering them really does work! Martha Steward would love the white schmootz on the bottom of the pot but mom can't stand it.

Ok, now on to jewelry. In the past few days I've had a creativity infusion.....lots of ideas swirling around in my noggin! This is a custom order. The butterfly in the center is a Scrabble tile.

A few weeks ago, when the humidity was low, I tried out ICE Resin and I absolutely LOVE IT! It's so easy to use and I got no bubbles what so ever. The inside of the bezel with the sailor girl has the ICE resin on the inside. Don't you just love her cool, fierce look? The necklace is coral chips and shell chips. Click HERE to find these necklaces over at Honey Girl Studio Jewelry.
This is another custom piece I did, again with the ICE resin. It's sooooo clear and smooth!

Handmade fabric beads with batik fabric and and sewn fabric cording make this larger shell necklace very unique. You can find all of following necklaces at Honey Girl Studio Jewelry.
This sweet little leather pendant bird has two charms dangling from it by the wing but they flipped behind it when I took the pic!

Since I'm going to be harvesting about 3,000 egglants over the next few weeks in my garden, I was inpired by the deep purple color when I created this necklace.
Hand sewn light blue seed beads adorn this fabric necklace with echos of the sea dangling from the center.

Oh how I love this necklace! It reminds me of the deep shade you seek from the lush trees in hot, hot summertime.
Whew! That's all for now. Hope you all have a wonderful Monday!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Jewelry Class

I've been without a computer for awhile b/c it got invaded with a virus or many of them and when I'd go to click on a website I'd get redirected to a total different website! Very frustrating! So the laptop has been at the computer doctor for the past 8 days and I'm posting this post from a back-up old laptop that takes a long time to get things done.

Yesterday my friends Donna and Sue came over and we had a little jewelry class. I call it "open air crafting" b/c we spend the whole day on the covered back porch. It was a warm but beautiful day. I showed them some how to make leather pendants and some basic jewelry connection techniques. This is Sue's leather heart creation. I like the layers of charms on the heart (I broke out the big Mason jar that has bits and pieces of metal things...we all had fun digging through it for goodies).
This is the leather bird pendant Sue did. Great colors to transition into fall with! The little antique charm really adds to it.

Donna made this 3 strad necklace in these lucious jewel tones. She was almost done with the second strand when it escaped from her hand and tiny seed beads went everywhere!

The heart was layered with a thick and thin piece of leather. Again, great colors! How sweet is that little key brad?

Donna also made this colorful little bird and sun/moon pendant. The beauty of these 3 pieces is that she can interchange all of them with the necklace she made! We had such a good time! The next class is going to be with ICE resin but we have to wait for the humidity to go away.
I've been working on some new exciting pieces and will posting them tomorrow, so come back and visit. :-)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


I've had this idea to display earrings for awhile and as many of you know, you just kind of stash it away in a far recess of your mind and then pull it out someday when you have time to act on it. Today was that day! I took school pictures from the 1950s (gotta love those glasses) backed them with chipboard, added a crown and a tag with text. I poked holes in the earlobes to put the earrings I made through. There is a magnet on the back so the "Princess" can be hung on the fridge!

How about the look on this girl's face? The Coffee Princess looks like she knows a secret! Constance Mulcady grew up to be the creator of the Starbucks logo which you see on all of their cups. She created it one wild night with 4 pots of coffee and Adobe Illustrator.
The Cupcake Princess (aka, Bonnie Bivolaqua Fields) lived for buttercream frosting! Actually this little girl grew up to be Mrs. Fields, she switched her loyalties in her teens from the cupcake to the cookie.
Ah, The Friendship Princess, her sweet smile could charm a pack of wild burros. Mildred grew up to be assistant to the director of United Nations Cupcake Relations, which is a little known organization within the U.N. that spreads joy, friendship, unicorns, cotton candy and tiny cameras to small nations across the globe.

Frances Fernworthington was born into a privileged family but decided at a very early age to take the road less traveled. She was born to be a beach bum and fullfilled her life long ambition when she moved to Key West at the age of 18 and opened the very successful "Franny's Franks", yes a hot dog shack, not a crab shack!
The other day I was pursuing through the new Somerset Apprentice when I saw a wonderful idea! The artist (I wish I could remember her name and give her credit but I didn't buy the book b/c I was too cheap and I think $14.99 for a magazine is one hell of a price.....for a magazine......although I enjoy looking at it for free.........come on now, you can buy a lot of crafting supplies with $15...... anywho....) took a dish soap bottle and covered it with torn pieces of an old dictionary. I had the bottle and I bought an old Italian/English dictionary for $2 at the used book shop. I glued on a little lace and painted a wooden spool and glued it on top after I filled it with rice to keep it stable. I'm going to use it as a jewelry display for my earrings at a show I'm doing this Thursday night.
Whew! It's hot here in Western Pa! 96 degrees with sauna like humidity! I think I'm heading to the boat's always cooler on the water!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Garlic Harvest!

It's was garlic harvesting time at my house over the weekend! This year it was a record harvest of 117 bulbs (last year 110 bulbs). We have a raised bed that is 16 feet long by 3 feet wide.
We brought all of the garlic up onto the back porch to dry. Gary will then sort and braid it. Here's a great quick recipe using just 5 ingredients: pasta, olive oil, shallot, garlic and cherry tomatoes. Chop up 4 cloves of garlic and one medium shallot and set aside. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook some of your favorite pasta. Take one container of cherry tomatoes, washed and dried and put them into a skillet with 2 TBS of hot olive oil. Slap a lid on it b/c those little buggers will pop! Shake the skillet to move the tomatoes around while they blister on the outside. After about 4 minutes take them off of heat and using the back of your spatula press down on each tomato squishing it. Move the skillet back onto the burner and throw in the garlic and shallot, cook stirring constantly for about 2 minutes over high heat. Drain your pasta and mix into the tomato mixture. Grate fresh cheese over the top! Yummy!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Cherry Picking Time!

Life is like a bowl of cherries? On Tuesday, Gary and I went to North East, Pa to a cherry orchard we've gone to for year now. It's called Mobilia Farms and it's right next to Lake Erie. The owner told us that the cherries were ready a few weeks early this year as with most of the fruit because of such a warm spring. The cherries hung in globs from the trees and we didn't even have to climb a ladder to reach them.
Here is my husband concentrating on picking!
The trees aren't very tall, that's about a seven or eight foot ladder. That's my cooler to the right full of sweet, plump cherries! The weather was perfect for picking, cool...63 degrees and windy with blue sunny skies!
Gary and I picked 35 pounds of cherries in 40 minutes! Guess what we've been eating a lot of??

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Birdie Pendants

I finally put my new Tim Holtz die to good use! I love his stuff and the cage makes a great display card for my leather pendant birdies. My husband cracks me up, when I showed him these he said, "those are nice Melissa but arent' they kind of big to be wearing as a necklace?" Ha! He thought that the chipboard cage was part of the pendant! I replied, "no honey, you take the bird off the cage and put it on a chain or ribbon necklace!"
These little guys measure 2.5 inches from the tip of the beak to the end of the tail. I made them from leather! I love visiting the tack shop and checking out all the different kinds of leather. You can find these little guys over at Honey Girl Studio Jewelry. Just detatch this little guy from the cage and slide a chair through the 10mm jump ring and wear it with a song in your heart!