Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Brighten Up With Chicky D

I love this time of year. The garden is just bursting with color. 

Two years ago we planted two yellow rose climbers on either side of our front porch and this year they have made the most beautiful show of blooms reaching to the roof. I love the look of my house when it is surrounded with flowers. 

We also planted a whole row of new Skip Laurel trees across the back boundary of our house. I'm so looking forward to them spreading out and adding to the atmosphere I'm trying to create around the deck in my yard.

In spring and early summer I always get the urge to change or add new things in my house. They don't have to be big, just something to brighten up the place after the drabness of winter. This is why I was so drawn to Danielle Saletzki's shop Chicky D. 

Danielle is a graphic designer and she has applied her skills to creating  accessories and gifts for everyone from newborns, toddlers and teens to brides and businesswomen. She welcomes custom orders so be sure to contact her for your decorative needs.

One way of brightening up a home after winter is to add brightly colored cushions to your sofa and chairs. If you don't  find one to suit your color scheme, custom order one in your color and pattern. I love this one because it matches the sectional in my TV room.

Pastel Flowers with Bubble Accent 18 inch Pillow WITH FORM

Flowers and bubble shapes in soft pastels are perfect for any girl's room or nursery! Mint green, buttercream, and light pink are as soft as this 18" inch pillow.
An 18" pillow form is included. Best of all - it is finished with an envelope closure for easy removal and cleaning.

I'm careful to wear a hat in the bright sun and always look for one that is stylish while at the same time casual enough to wear every day. This cotton canvas hat is so charming and I love the two coordinating yo-yo accents and buttons. 1 small and 1 extra-small yo-yo give this hat a real sense of style. The hat is adult sized and non-adjustable with elastic in the back to allow for extra room. 

My granddaughters love bows for their hair and I love decorating gifts with colorful bows, so this beautiful bow caught my eye immediately.

Funky Multicolored and Rainbow Ribbon - Tulle, Korkers and Loopy Bow

This loopy bow accented with tulle and korkers is on a 2.5" French clip and measures approximately 5.5"

What fun this shop is! I so enjoyed visiting it and you will too.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Charm of Blue and White

CC from Bluewhitewear has lived in Bangkok, Thailand for 9 years and you can see the influence of her travels in 

her charming jewelry.

I love turquoise jewelry so this piece immediately attracted me. This Turquoise and Pearl Necklace  has a smooth oval turquoise bead, a rough turquoise nugget, and a creamy white round freshwater pearl - all on a delicate silver toned chain.

Ancient cultures considered turquoise to be a symbol of wealth. This stone protects the wearer from negative energy and brings good fortune. It is the symbol of friendship. A special gift for a special friend.

Because coral is so popular at the moment, I couldn't resist the Chunky Coral Necklace. It has a matching bracelet and together they make a bold fashion statement.

This chunky red coral necklace has a mixture of coral in different shapes and sizes! Faceted black onyx beads finish each end.

Coral is known as the garden of the sea and is worn to prevent bad luck. It supposedly helps visualization and meditation.

What fun these earrings are! A real conversation piece!

 If you are tired of always wearing a matching pair and feel adventurous, why not try these. The lock and key charms are silver toned and make a great pair of earrings! Each charm measures about 20mm in length (under 1 inch).

For something different, visit CC's BlueWhiteWear. Great gift ideas!

Stitching with Stitch princess

For years I loved sewing and made all my children's and many of my own clothes. Faith Snowden and I have something in common in that we both started out hand sewing at a very young age and soon graduated to using a sewing machine. Unlike Faith, I got lazy and took the easier, but not necessarily the better way of buying what we needed.

When I saw Faith's beautiful work, I really felt inspired - who knows, she may have lured me back to my machine!

StitchPrincess is Faith's shop on Etsy. Her specialties are casual and evening dresses, skirts, aprons, purses, and small quilts. All of her products are hand- or machine-sewn by herself, and she loves custom orders! 

I chose to highlight this dress because I would love to be wearing it right now. 

Summer Dress, Pink Sundress w/ Pockets, hot pink fabric and white lace trim, high neck, modest--Ready-made size 6

The new spring colors feature bright pink and coral. You will be in the latest fashion with this beautiful dress which is made of cotton/polyester blend fabric (machine washable) in hot pink with orange and white flowers. A wide white cotton lace trims the waistband and hem, adding a cute touch. 

This dress is made in size 6, but can be custom made in any size or fabric. 

This skirt reminds me of one I had as a teenager. I love it!

Brown Skirt, One-Size-Fits-Most, Reversible

Knee-length skirt, fits up to 52” hip. One side is made of 16 panels (8 different vintage fabrics); the other side is made of unbleached muslin (100% cotton). Includes white lace trim (attached to muslin but visible on both sides), elastic waistband, and white ribbon drawstring.

If you are looking for a trendy purse roomy enough to take all your goodies, this is it.

Reversible, pre-quilted fabric purse, printed with environmentally-friendly messages, such as, "Think Green," "Energy Efficient," "Save Our Planet," and "Tree Hugger." Seams edged with white bias tape. Includes white ribbon ties and black handles attached with white plastic rings. 

I hope you've enjoyed this visit to Stitch Princess. Be sure to visit Faith's shop on Etsy.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Wine Charms and More from Absolutely Kismet

Have you ever been at a party or function where you put your wine glass down and then, when you look for it, there are a whole bunch of them together and no way of knowing which one is yours????

Well, my blog this week features AbsolutelyKismet, because this shop has the answer for you with her charming wine charms. What a great hostess gift!

I've chosen to show you Bow Tie Wine Charms w/.22 Shell Casing Dangles - Set of 6
Using .22 brass shell casings with a colored bicone in place of the bullet she has created a beautiful dangle which is attached to a ring of crystal beads.The bicones come in dark blue, light blue, purple, red, green, and amber.              
Try these for your next dinner party - they will be a real conversation starter!

Necklace - Bright Orange Shell 17.5"/44.5cm

If you've noticed the new summer fashions, you will see that orange and coral clothes feature very prominently. This beautiful bright orange necklace  is made from dyed mother-of-pearl shell. The length is 17.5 inches (44.5cm. It will be a perfect accessory for your latest fashions.

Turquoise Bracelet for 6.5" (16.5cm) Wrist

Another popular spring/summer color is turquoise and I love the simplicity and elegance of this bracelet. Keep it in mind next time you go clothes shopping and need something to add a dressy look!
Such a fun shop! Don't forget to visit the next time you need a gift.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Experience Hawaii Through RedemptionArt

When I look at Connie Haskell's shop,  RedemptionArt, it evokes fond memories of a dream vacation in Hawaii many years ago.  This shop has a distinctly Hawaiian flair with its unusual and interesting  range of vintage, hand made, re-purposed and unusual products.

Seashell Vase Ceramic Hand Made Vintage 
I chose this item as it made me feel like a walk along one of the glorious beaches I remember with nostalgia. The delicate colors enhance the natural flowing lines of the shell. What a great conversation piece on your coffee table!

If you love vintage copper and 1950s pieces, this Vintage Copper Pitcher West Bend Moscow Mule would look great filled with some of the beautiful spring flowers that are bursting out in bloom all around us!

This type of pitcher was typically used to mix Moscow Mule a vodka based drink and you can find the recipe on Connie's shop, RedemptionArt.

Are you planning a beach vacation this summer? If so, you will definitely need this Vintage Purse Sunny Hawaii Bamboo Summer

What a gorgeous tote to really celebrate the summer with!

I hope you have enjoyed visiting this fascinating shop with me. Next time you need an unusual gift, remember to visit RedemptionArt.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Featuring Borettoart

In  this blog I'm going to feature a very accomplished artist, Lesley Boretto from Sydney, 

Australia. On her website www.borettoart.com you will find a variety of art works to delight 

your senses. 

Lesley, who grew up in an artistic family, surrounded by art,  creates her unique and
eye-catching paintings using her favorite mediums: acrylicmodelling compoundpaperlinen canvasoilinkgluefoam boardgold lief

The first painting for you to see is Alien Models 

chose this painting because I love the flow of movement expressed by the figures and the vibrant use of color.

 This is an original acrylic painting on canvas.

Because the beginning of summer has us all looking forward to the holidays, I want to show you Manly Retro, a fine art print of Manly beach. Notice the attention to detail and all the activity taking place on the beach.

I chose this last acrylic painting on canvas, 
Flower Bouquet, to show you how versatile Lesley is in her choice of subject matter.

 Again, I love the use of color here and the pleasing arrangement of the subject matter. Because she loves flowers so much, but they do not last in a vase, she decided to give them the imortality they deserve by painting them.

Please go to her website - I'm sure you will get as much pleasure from her art as I did. Good luck, Lesley, you are truly a very talented artist!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

DeeDeeDzyn: Daffodil Season

DeeDeeDzyn: Daffodil Season: This is such a beautiful time of year. Everywhere I look blossoms are appearing, flowers are bursting into bloom and the air is so frag...

Daffodil Season

This is such a beautiful time of year. Everywhere I look blossoms are appearing, flowers are bursting into bloom and the air is so fragrant.  I'm reminded of a William Wordsworth poem I studied long ago in an English literature class: 

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

In this blog I will be showcasing three shops, Joyflower, Yankee Burrow and Ancient Oils.

To celebrate this season, I've  chosen a stunning Spring Fashion Hand Painted Charmeuse Silk Poncho by Kristin Joy Light at http://www.etsy.com/shop/Joyflower?ref=pr_shop_more. Believe it or not, this silk poncho is actually a silk square that can be worn in a variety of ways. I love the rich coral red and magenta colors. If you check this out on the website, you will see illustrations of how to tie it in different ways to achieve different effects. You can also see a brief video overview of the process of silk painting at http://joysilk.com/Painting. 

Having just returned from South Africa, I was immediately drawn to Debbi and Amanda's shop, Yankee Burrow where I found this beautiful  African beaded necklace, brown and green created by Debbi for


Perfect for spring, the green and brown beads are interspersed with silver and wood to add to the African feel of this unusual piece.  

I love chocolate so, when I saw Mint with Chocolate Swirls Luxury Soap by Lilly DelValle, I was blown away! Imagine bathing in chocolate mint!
This soap is made with real Cocoa butter, peppermint essential oil and real cocoa powder for swirls. Whether you are using this in the day or at night, it is sure to soothe you and leave you with a feeling of well-being. Lilly  works with Essential Oils due to their Healing and Spiritual properties. Be sure to visit her shop for a delicious experience at

I hope that you have enjoyed this blog and that it will heighten your spring experience.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Cuddles, Quartz and Silver

Well, I'm back from a wonderful vacation in sunny South Africa. It was a real trip down memory lane for me. After an absence of about 15 years, I couldn't believe how the country had changed.

Cape Town is still, in my opinion, the most beautiful city in the world. Yes, there is still a lot of poverty and unemployment and crime cannot be discounted, but there is also a lot of entrepreneurial activity and everyone I encountered was friendly, smiling and helpful.

Being a popular tourist venue, local crafts were on display everywhere. I found the intricate and colorful beadwork stunning and inspiring.  My goal is to use this inspiration to be more adventurous in my designs.

While I was away, my fellow BEST team members have been busy and I will be featuring three very talented artists in this blog.

Irith Mashiah is an extremely talented gold and silversmith. In her shop RioRita (http://www.riorita.etsy.com), you can see an exciting array of handmade jewelry. I've chosen to share with you my favorite piece - the Two sided pendant, handcrafted Sterling silver Pendant, which is a combination of two sterling silver disks, one superimposed on the other. The two disks have different textures and enamel ornamentation on the smaller, inner one. There are also matching earrings available in her shop. If you are looking for a truly unique piece, you must visit this stunning shop. 

I remember as a child always having a beloved cuddly toy and being heart broken after it started disintegrating. How I wish I had been able to send it to Coldham Cuddlies for restoration by Isobel Morrell. (http://www.etsy.com/people/coldhamcuddlies  Isobel has been making these adorable cuddly toys for about forty years and her shop is a veritable children's dream. My favorite is Golden Mohair Bear with a Blue Scarf (a.k.a. Little Ed Ted). He is made from a soft mohair which makes him a very cuddly companion. Be sure to check out the other treasures in this shop and remember that you can also send in your old favorites for rejuvenation.

 Because I make beaded jewelry, I am always interested to see what other bead artists are making and I was delighted to see Patty Coe's beautiful designs. (http://www.etsy.com/people/pcoe00) She uses a variety of beads, pearls and gemstones and her shop offers a selection of necklaces, lanyards and earrings.  A particularly eye-catching piece is the Purple Quartz Drop Pendant Necklace made up of purple quartz beads and light purple glass pearls interspersed with silver beads. The effect is completed with the Purple quartz pendant. Don't forget to visit this shop.

I hope you have enjoyed my blog. I wish these three talented artists lots of success with your shops. 

Cuddles, Quartz and Silver

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Blue and White, Wine Charms and Crochet Goodies

Welcome to my latest blog. I'm off to sunny South Africa this week-end so you won't hear from me until I get back. It's the first time in about 15 years that I am going back and I am so excited! Just wish I could take my whole family with me. I hope to come back with my creativity rejuvenated. I'm also looking forward to getting inspiration from the traditional African art and handcrafts.

I love it that our team is so diverse. American born CC lived in Thailand prior to moving to Chile, and the Asian influence is so clearly visible in her jewelry. When I saw CC's (Blue and White Wear) beautiful Chinese Ming Blue and White Pendant and Beads Necklace, I was immediately struck by the pendant created from a porcelain Ming Dynasty shard.  Three porcelain hand-painted  round beads flank the silver framed pendant on each side. The characters on the beads represent longevity, happiness, wealth, love, and good fortune.

I love the sentiments expressed in this necklace - what a meaningful gift to give someone you love.


If you like to entertain and you're always running short of wine glasses because your guests keep getting confused as to which is their glass and so take another clean one. Well, Absolutely Kismet has the answer  - a set of 6 wine charms made from seed beads, focal beads and pewter charms. What a great hostess gift, too. These charms fit around most stemware and some coffee mugs. You can also custom order so that you get exactly what you need to dress up your next party! .http://www.etsy.com/people/AbsolutelyKismet

Ellen Mackler of GMaEllenCrochetGifts was inspired by her very creative grandmothers and her love

of crochet is a result of their influence. I also love to crochet, so I was very taken by her

Drop Shell Crochet Jangle Bracelet/Necklace . She has crochet natural shell beads on nylon thread. This can be worn as a necklace, wrapped four times for a bracelet or an anklet. The possibilities are endless!  I can imagine this worn with a white sheath dress - what a stunning image!


Please visit these wonderful shops - you will be as amazed and delighted as I was by their creativity.

I look forward to sharing more when I return from South Africa.

Monday, February 13, 2012

When I look at my team members' shops, I am overawed at the variety, novelty and beauty that abounds, and all the artistic talent that is out there.

I felt an immediate kinship with Beader Bubbe as my life is immersed in that of my four precious treasures, ranging in age from 10 to 16. My fourteen year old granddaughter, Micaela, is my constant supporter and design advisor and, in fact, is co- administrator on my FaceBook fan page. I also love to read and Agnes has a wonderful blog for anyone trying to find a good book to lose themselves in. 

My goal is to learn how to use polymer clay and so admire people who are able to produce such professional jewelry. I love the colors on this Rainbow Necklace - they are perfect for lifting our spirits on a gloomy winter day or for enhancing a spring or summer outfit. 


Connie Haskell in her Redemption Art Shop has a unique and eclectic collection of wonderful items. If I were an interior designer, I would go no further than this shop. I particularly love the Tea Pot Copper Portugal Vintage.

 With my South African upbringing, tea time was marked in our home every day, and I still get nostalgic when I see beautiful teapots. I remember a copper one in my mother's house.


In her Empty on the Inside shop,  Annie Olverio has a wonderful display of beautiful cards. I love it that they are empty on the inside so that I can write my own message which is always so much more meaningful than a commercial one. Her cards are so varied in design that there is a suitable one for any occasion. In these days of fast living and instant gratification, how special when someone sends you a card that they have actually taken the time to think about the message.

I chose to highlight the Groovy Greeting Card as it is my favorite, but the artwork on each card is stunning!


Enjoy my blog - I'm still grappling with the page formatting, how to mix graphics and text with an easier flow. Any ideas?