Sep 13, 2014

A Simple Window

For the month of September our theme for the Focus on Life:2014 weekly photography challenge is:

Simplicity

and this week, week 37,   
Sally gave us this topic:



 A Window

The windows on the tree house are pretty special. They are some of the windows from Grandma Emma's original cabin that was built in the 1950's up near my sister and brother-in-law's cabin.  

Despite the fact that, due to it's size, there were relatively few structures lost during Arizona's largest wildfire to date - the 2011 Wallow Fire - Grandma Emma's was one of the few cabins that burned completely to the ground. 

The only thing left was the fireplace.

The Fireplace  - 3 Years After The Fire


At least that's what we thought at first. 

And then we all remembered that the tree house windows belonged to the original cabin. 



The Tree House - with the original Hindman Cabin windows!!

So, they not only provide a view, 
they also provide a 'window to the past'. 

Let's see what other windows every one else has captured this week.

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Window Happiness!
Cheers,
~Shel~

Sep 5, 2014

A Door - Focus on Life: 2014 - Week 36

Our topic for September for the Focus On Life: 2014 Weekly Photography Challenge is

 'Simplicity' 

and for week 36 Sally prompted us with


 'A Door'


Well, if you didn't already know, I'm a bit obsessed with doors.
I've got a 'Door Porn' board over on Pinterest 
that helps feed this obsession. 

So, when we got the prompt for this week I thought, 
"Yeah Baby! I'm not gonna have any problems with this week's prompt!"

Wrong. 

Other than the grocery store and my house, I haven't gone far this week and didn't manage to capture even one photo of the cool doors I saw down in Mexico last weekend. (really?!?)

So, I leave you this week with one of my favorite door photos of all times.

Italian villa in Sommocolonia, Italy. Photo by Michelle Buettner

This beautiful home is in a little hilltop village called Sommocolonia
above the village of Barga in Tuscany, Italy. 

Sommocolonia is a magical place. 

When I die my ashes could be spread up on the hill, underneath the remains of the magnificent stone towers where the memorial plaque to the Buffalo Soldiers of WWII hangs, and I'd be eternally happy. 

This village is 'A Door' to another world.

 Simplicity rings through out this beautiful hilltop village, behind each door, and welcomes you with open arms. 



I'm excited to see what simplistic doors the other participants were able to capture this week.

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and A Door to a Simple, Peaceful Place!
Cheers,
~Shel~ 

**I posted early because I'm down in Tucson at the Fall G&LW Gem Show tonight!
I'll try to visit and comment on every one's posts on Sunday!**

 

Sep 2, 2014

End of Summer - Beach Time!

We took a family trip with our long time, dear friends down to the Sea of Cortez for Labor Day Weekend. 

Mike, Shelly and Logan at Capone's in Rocky

With school back in session and summer winding down, it felt good to get away and have family time.

No internet, no Instagram, no Facebook.

Just some great days on the beach.


The Gang at Al Capone's - Rocky Point, Mexico


My friend Nina and I are finding it hard to believe that our boys are seniors in high school and that this may be one of the last summers where we all get to hang out and enjoy each other as families.
 

Garrett and Logan - La Casa Del Capitan Restaurant, Rocky Point, Mexico






 The boys have been friends since they were two years old. 


The boys - then (age 4) and now (age 17).


They were nice enough to recreate this photo-opp, per their Mama's request. 


I admit to having tears in my eyes while taking this photo. 

And no, it wasn't from the wind or the salty air.

Time really does fly by.

Despite the problems we had with our luxury (??) resort condo (air conditioning was broken and it was a humid 88 degrees in the condo, one shower was broken and only had cold water forcing us to shower in the master suite and one toilet handle was busted so we had only one toilet for a while- which wasn't in the master suite, etc.) we did enjoy hanging out on the beach, at the pool, and around the dinner table creating more family memories.



Nina photo bombing the kiddos!


We laughed so hard during dinner each night that our sides hurt.  




Nina and Steve - What a hoot!



It's great to have good friends with which to create wonderful memories!


I hope everyone in the U.S. had a safe, happy and fun Labor Day Weekend!

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love, Good Friends, Great Memories and,...
VIVA DIVAS!! 
(inside family joke!)
Cheers,
~Shel~

Aug 30, 2014

Lazy Days of Summer!

It's week 35 and the prompt this last week of August, where our theme for the month has been"Outside" for the Focus on Life weekly photography challenge, is:



 "Lazy Days of Summer"

I think I can handle this.



I'm lazin' around with the neighbor's frog. He's still online for goodness sakes. Geeze,......you'd think he'd be enjoying the water by now. 

Everyone have a wonderfully fun and safe Labor Day Weekend!

Be sure to check out how everyone else is celebrating the 'Lazy Days of Summer'.  

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Enjoying the Lazy Days of Summer!!
Cheers,
~Shel~

 

Aug 28, 2014

Playing with Pearls!

I managed to squeeze in some design time over the last couple of weekends and I created several simple, yet fun necklaces and a few pairs of earrings as well. 




Of course there's pearls in just about every design, but I did manage to sneak in some gemstones as well.   




These are all available over in my 




 I hope everyone here in the U.S. has a fun and safe Labor Day Weekend

Catch you all next week!! 



Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Creative Fun! 
Cheers,
~Shel~



Aug 23, 2014

Every One's Online These Days,....

It's week 34 and the prompt this week for the August theme of "Outside" for the Focus on Life weekly photography challenge is:



"About The Ground"

Sally prompted us to "draw your focus about the ground; you may be surprised at what you find!"

I found this little guy sitting on the ground over in our neighbor's yard, just pecking away at his computer.




Can you believe it?!  

Seems like every one's online these days,....

I wonder what all the other participants found while looking about the ground this week?

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Looking About The Ground!
Cheers,
~Shel~



Aug 22, 2014

Being a Little Knotty!


Last week I mentioned how Pattye over at Patricia Saab Designs on Etsy was nice enough to send me some Beader's Secret Thread to try out and I managed to sneak in a little "Knotty-Time" this weekend and wanted to give you all an update.



Click here to read the post from last week where I showed you the samples she sent and the photo of all the beautiful colors of Beader's Secret thread she offers in her shop. 

Pattye sent along a couple of large eye needles for me too, since this nylon cord works best for knotting pearls when it's doubled over. 




With the exception of the three larger pearls in the front of the necklace, I went with a rather 'random' pattern here because,...well, basically because they were mostly mismatched pearls from various strands I've used through the years. Orphans, if you will. LOL!! And, the 'Shell' color of the Beader's Secret cord matched up perfectly, so I just went with it.

When I work with thread that's doubled over, I like to condition it with a product like Thread Heaven because it makes it a bit more manageable for me.




I decided to do a simple, 17 inch hand knotted necklace using my tweezers. Half way through the process I converted to knotting with out tweezers. Or tool-less. I didn't get any photos of that process, but here's a great video from 'Pearlmaven' over on You Tube that shows you exactly how I knotted the remaining strand. I actually do it 'mirrored' to the way she does it. So, holding the pearls with my right hand and letting my left hand do the other 'stuff'. You'll see what I mean when you watch the video. 




The Beader's Secret thread was easy to 'stretch' prior to stringing my pearls on the cord to be knotted and it didn't seem to kink up or twist as much as other nylon cords (SuperLon or C-Lon) I use. 

I really liked the way the Beader's Secret thread knotted, too. It was soft and very supple, just like silk, and made neat, little knots. 




I can see myself suggesting this as an alternative to silk for my clients who wish me to restring their vintage or family heirloom pearls.  




 So, overall, I'd have to say that for traditional knotting, it's a winner!

Thanks again Pattye for introducing me to Beader's Secret, I like it!




Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and New Knotty Fun!
Cheers
~Shel~

*And no, Pattye didn't pay me to write this review or anything like that. If you read the post I where I mentioned all this last week, you'll know that I convo'd her over on Etsy with about a dozen questions and she just said, "Here Shelly, let me send you a sample and you can see for yourself!" 
What a sweetie!
Great customer service, wouldn't you say?!! 

Aug 19, 2014

Look What I Got!

Can you see what I'm sportin' in this photo?


It's back on my finger and oh, so beautiful!!
 

Yep!  It's my 20th Anniversary Ring!  

 I'm wearing it a bit early, as our 20th anniversary isn't until Mid-September, but I just couldn't resist! 





So, here it is. 

All shiny and beautiful with a super awesome 
black diamond!! 

I couldn't be happier!




In the post where I mentioned getting my ring and how I sent it back because the diamond was brown (a very beautiful brown, too!!) instead of black, I told you how wonderful the folks over at Todd Reed in Boulder, CO were and how their customer service was just top notch

Well, that's so true.




You can read that post - HERE - and also see the photos they sent me of my ring being created. It was super sweet of them to send the photos and what a cool memento for me to keep with my certificate of authenticity!

Oh, and speaking of their exceptional customer service, check out the fabulous ceramic bird they included in the package with my ring.  Isn't she beautiful?




It's from a local Boulder artist named Caroline Douglas.

Her work is just lovely!!

They told me they send each of their customers a piece of art from a local artist. 

How cool is that?!!

Yep - the folks over at Todd Reed really know how to impress. 

I told you I would share the little drawing I sent them showing how I wanted my custom ring created.






Yep. They did an amazing job!

From that scary little sketch of mine to this fabulous ring. 





Now that's what I call 'vision'.

I love my ring. 

It goes with everything, is probably the most comfortable ring I've ever had, fits perfectly and is so pretty I can't stop staring at it! 

As you can see, it's perfectly 'me'.  




Except, several of my friends were shocked that I didn't get a ring with a pearl in it. 

So, let me explain. Since this is a ring I will be wearing all the time and rarely, if ever, take off, then I couldn't have a pearl because I shouldn't be showering, doing dishes, cleaning my house, playing in the pool or ocean and all that kind of stuff with a pearl ring on.  I don't have the discipline to take it off for all those things, nor the memory to put it back on each time and all that water and those possible chemicals are not good for a pearl's delicate and oh so beautiful nacre. 

It would dull the luster, and we can't have any of that!

So I guess that means I'll just have to get a Todd Reed pearl creation next,...you know something to wear only on special occasions, like lounging around the house while watching zombie movies, decked out in my comfy clothes. With my hands nowhere near water or chemicals. 

Unless of course, a glass of wine would count as a chemical! LOL!!




I want to give a special "Thank You" to all the folks over at Todd Reed for their exceptional customer service and their awesome design and fabrication skills - you guys ROCK!!  

Until Next Time, 
Peace, Love and Raw Happiness!
Cheers,
~Shel~

Oh, and Michael, you did good honey!
It's exactly what I wanted for our 20th!! 
~LOVE YOU~
 

Aug 16, 2014

The View Above

For week 33 of the Focus on Life:2014 Weekly Photography Challenge, Sally prompted us with "The View of Above" during our August theme of "Outside". 




"Change your photo taking perspective, look up!  Looking up is one of the simple exercises in focusing on your surroundings.  This day in age with all the wonderful modern technology we tend to miss things going on around us because we are simply not looking up.   This week take a glance up at the world around and see what you may have been missing."


Here was my view one morning this week. 




It really did look like pink cotton candy. 




Let's go see what everyone else captured in their "View Above" this week.

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Above The Clouds!
Cheers,
~Shel~


Aug 14, 2014

Fun Cords!

Hey all, I ran across a couple of great products recently and wanted to do a little shout out today.

I'm always on the search for different types of pearl stringing materials, and although I can't remember exactly how I came upon her shop, Patricia over at Patricia Saab Designs on Etsy had what's called Beader's Secret Thread that's said to be more durable than silk (it's polyester), comes in an array of colors and is perfect for knotting pearls.

Well I just had to try this out, so I messaged Patricia - who happens to be a fellow GIA Pearl Girl!! - and asked some questions in regards to the size of the thread compared to the Griffin silk sizes and she messaged me back quickly. 

I can be rather long winded at times (ya think?!) but she was super sweet at answering all my questions as best she could and even offered to send me a sample of some Beader's Secret Thread along with a color chart showing the variety that she carries in her shop. (how's that for customer service, right?!!)




So, in a flash, there it was in my mail box this week.  
What a sweetie! 

It's a very thin, dainty thread, comparable to a size 1 in Griffin Silk and to the micro-fine size of both C-Lon and SuperLon cords and just a smidge larger than size '0' silk cord by the Bead Smith. It's soft and very supple, just like silk, which is exciting. And, since it's a synthetic, it shouldn't fade or stretch as much as 100% silk either. (that's a plus!)




Patricia even sent me two large-hole beading needles, because she tells me you should knot with it doubled over.

Now, I haven't gotten the chance to get my pearls out and do any knotting yet, hopefully that will happen this weekend, but I'll let you know when I do and how I like it.

I suggest you hop on over to Etsy and check out Patricia's store. You should see the lovely jewelry designs she has - stunning!!  And the pearls she has for sale - WOW!  I'm in love with these,....

Patricia Saab Designs
 
SWOON!

And wait until you see all the lovely colors of Beader's Secret Thread she has available - it'll make you smile!

 _______
 

I'm sure you've all heard me mention how I love the waxed jewelry cord that Sandra over at The Knotty-Do-It-All carries (it's great for knotting gemstones and some of my large hole pearls!) and how I love both my large and smaller Knotty-Do-It-All boards, so when I saw that Sandra was carrying some 'Tassel Cord', well, of course I had to order some and try it out. 

I failed to get a photo of the tassel (duh!) that I completed, but the cord feels great and it works up into tassels that have that 'swing' you want a tassel to have. (yes!)

Tassel Cord from The Knotty-Do-It-All

I got quite a few colors, but I might have to go back for more - they're all so yummy!! 

So, if you're making tassel necklaces (like, who isn't these days?!) and stocking up on things you'll need for the 'holiday times' then you're gonna want to grab up some of these spools so you'll have them. 

Oh, here's my little 'disclaimer'.  
"No one paid me to do these reviews or asked me to do them or anything. I did these reviews of my own free will and spoke completely freely about my feelings regarding the products I mentioned here today, okay?"

Okay folks, that's it for today. 
Everyone have a great weekend. 

Come back over on Saturday and see what everyone who participates in Sally Russick's Focus on Life Weekly Photography Challenge has snapped if you can. 


 There's always awesome shots taken by the people who participate each week!

Until Next Time,

Peace, Love and Creating with Soft, Colorful Cords!

Cheers,