Jan 30, 2012

Good Eats While Down in Tucson!!

Okay - so a while back I mentioned that I'd be giving you a line up of a few places to 'stuff your face' while you're down in Tucson for all the Gem Shows, so here's a little sample of what the Old Pueblo has to offer:

Shelly, Nina and Ginny at Vivace's Feb-2011

Vivace - YUMMY!!  On the corner of River and Campbell, Vivace's has some great Italian food, awesome service and this is where we all met last year for lunch. We just walked out of the Windmill Inn, where the Whole Bead Show is, and across the parking lot and enjoyed some yummy pasta and delicious wine!  You gotta go! (Tell them Nina E. sent you!!)   

The Girls at Vivace's - Nina, Ginny, Marsha and Janet
(I'm behind the camara - taken' the pic!)

The Blue Willow - A Tucson Tradition!  An old 1940's Adobe house turned great restaurant, the ambiance takes you back in time and their breakfasts are what so many in Tucson love!  (And their deserts!)
Lunch and dinner are always good, too. 

Casa Molina's - Another Tucson Tradition (since 1947) and great Mexican food as well!  Fabulous  Margarita's baby (Try the Berry Berry Margarita - yummy) !!

Ni Nidito Restaurant - It's been around for decades and is a must stop for some of the best Mexican food in Tucson - hands down!

Jerry Bob's - Best comfort food in the West! Well, in Tucson anyway. Both of the ones at Oracle / McGee and Thornydale / Cortaro on the NW side of town are the ones we always used to go to with our friends on Sunday mornings when we lived down there. If you're going on the weekend, get there early, cause you'll have to wait to get in!

Frankie's South Philly Cheesesteaks - Longing for some great Philly Cheesesteaks are you? Well this is the place!

Flemmings - At Skyline and Campbell, Flemmings has a nice atmosphere, amazing wine list and of course, yummy salads and steaks that are to die-for! I've never eaten at a Flemmings that wasn't great!

Pinnacle Peak Steak House / El Corral and Trail Dust Town - Okay - it can be a little "Hokie" but Trail Dust Town is something everyone wants to see when they come to Tucson for some reason - probably because Pinnacle Peak Steak House is pretty well known,...so is El Corral.  Both have great steaks and cold beer - very yummy in the hot, dry desert!

Here's one I'd like to try because I've heard really good things about it - Azul Restaurant and Lounge inside the Westin LaPaloma. With great views of the beautiful Catalina Mountains, who wouldn't want to sip a cocktail and cool your heels at this place?!!

My favorite place in all of Tucson though is of course, my friend Nina's!  She makes the best Chili Blanco around and pours a mean glass of wine, too!   Wish I could invite you all over there to enjoy it with me, but even with a couple of acres, I'm not sure we'd all fit!

Shelly and Nina
Ready to Enjoy Some of Nina's Famous Chili Blanco!

Steve and Mike
Cooking in the Kitchen with Nina

There's tons of other great places to sit back, relax and enjoy the views and tastes of Tucson, so be sure to ask around because every local has his/her own favorites.

And, if you hear something mentioned more than once, take their advice and check it out!!

Again, make sure you're wearing comfy shoes, have your sunscreen on and your water bottle in your hand - it's the desert (yes, I know, last year it was below freezing,...but that was a bit unusual!!).

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Hanging Out in the Old Pueblo!

Having Fun with Crazy Friends


Jan 29, 2012

I'm So Sorry To Have To Post This,....

Well, it's taken me long enough to post today, that's for sure!  That's because I was a bit scared to post this,....but, you can't grow if you don't do what's uncomfortable, right?

As Always, Click The Photos To Enlarge Them

I've been messing around with some Parawire / Vintaj Arte Metal Colored Wire and wrapping some things and hammering it, etc. and I'm forced to report to you 
that I'm not impressed.  

I hate to say that (especially publicly) as I'm sure I'll be black-balled from every jewelry magazine, craft site, blog, etc. in the beading and handcrafted jewelry world!! 

But, I can't sit here and pretend this doesn't bother me. 

Okay, so for the record - I do love Vintaj's brass
and new copper blanks and charms and
their arte metal blanks and charms, too.

But this wire is just not doing anything for me. 

And yes, I've used other Parawire/Vintaj brand wires with much better success.  At least that's a positive, right?!

The "permanent" coating peeled off when I wrapped it around these pearls with my hands (no tools used). At least the 24 gauge wire did, anyway.  And you can see in my loops, where I did use tools, what happened. (And no, I don't have that heavy a hand). 

The 22 gauge wire held up a smidge better on another pair, but not much.  


And hammering the 20gauge wire into ear wires (not for sale or anything, but just to try it out for myself and see how it handled) well,....the minute the hammer touches it,....yuck,...guess it's not meant for that. But hey, you gotta experiment and try stuff or you'll never know, right? 

 So, on a positive note - if I take pictures at the right angle, you really can't see the 'mucked-up' wire - right? Yea,...I can still see it, too.

The Artisan Copper and Antique Bronze wires both hold up much better when I beat them up with my hammer or wrap them around tiny little pearls. 

 And, to be clear here, I do like other Parawire and Vintaj products,....just not this particular wire I purchased.

Someone please tell me that it's just these few spools that I purchased at Hobby Lobby and not all of Parawire's Vintaj Arte Metal Colored Wire - please???

These poor little pearls probably think I hate them right now. 

See, I'm not the only silver snob - my pearls like it, too!!

Ooohhhhh,...I just got taken off a bunch of 'blog rolls' right there and half my followers just quit following me.
(I'm doing well for the beginning of the year, don't you think?!!)

I'm going to be ripping these little babies apart tomorrow and re-doing them in sterling silver and dipping them in some LOS till they're black like these here.

Then I'm sure I'll be thrilled with them!

Anyhoo,...now that all that's said,...I'm here, ready for the 'Shel Bashing' to start - so go ahead.

I won't whine when people leave mean comments 'cause I know you're all are in love with both Parawire and Vintaj (and I am too) and they're the hottest things around right now,....so go ahead,...let me know what you think.  No profanity though - those comments won't get through!! 

 Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and "Going Out On A Limb!"

Oh  - I'm linking up with I heart Macro today, too. You should see the amazing photos on todays' line-up.  HOLY COW they're amazing!!

Jan 26, 2012

A Little of This,...A Little of That!

The paddle boat got away and drifted down the lake one day this week.  One of our nice neighbors tied it up to the nearest yard and came and told us the other night. 
(Thank you Steve!)


I can't believe we didn't notice it was missing for the whole afternoon - duh!!

Tiki Torch

Had to go get some oil for these guys this week because it's been nice enough to light them and sit outside a few nights.


And, our roses (I know, you're sick of seeing them!)
but they're as big and my entire hand now!

Huge, I'm telling you,...just huge!! 

Linking up to This or That Thursday
over on Deb Duty's Blog today - go check it out!

Until Next Time,

Peace, Love and a little of this and a little of that!


Jan 25, 2012

Echo Creative Club - Join the Fun!!

Today's the reveal day for the January edition of the

Jeannie, from Jeannie's Blog, is the creator of some really great pendants and beads and she's the mastermind behind 

Each month Jeannie graciously sends the particpants either
one of her Gin Blossom Pendants or a set of her
Peeled Paint Art Beads and we all create something with them and then blog about it on the 25th of each month. 

Gin Blossom Pendants By Jeannie

To see what all the participants created,
click on the links towards the bottom of this post!

My January piece is called "Spice It Up"

I hope you like it!!

I braided some recycled Sari Silk and red suede leather together and then wire wrapped some bright red flower beads and wire mesh beads (both from Michael's) and added Jeannie's cool black and silver Gin Blossom Pendant. I also stamped "Spice It Up" into an Vintaj Arte Metal blank and then bufffed most of the black off so that it mimicked Jeannie's Gin Blossom pendant just a bit and then added that to the mix here as well.

This is completely different from my usual style of jewelry (if you could even say that I have a style!) and was a nice change of pace for me. 

I loved mixing it  up a bit with this design!
I need to do that every now and then, or I get bored!!

A Special "Thanks!!" to Jeannie for providing us all with this great opportunity to try out her fun pendants (or beads)!

Please hop on over to the other particpants blogs and see their creations. Don't forget to chime in and give them some wonderful feedback - I know they'd appreciate it!

Courtney Breul 
Cindy Cima Edwards 
Beth Emery 
Kristen Stevens 
Jeannie K Dukic 

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and "Spice" Baby!

Jan 19, 2012

This or That Thursday!

Linking up with This or That Thursday today.

Thinking about things,....so I'm deep in thought today. 

Sometimes I miss these laying around the house.

Simpler times.

This one's gonna be beautiful!

Have a great Thursday. 

Hop on over and see what everyone else has shared on
Deb Duty's Blog for This or That Thursday.

There's always such amazing talent linked up over there!

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Thoughts of Things!

Jan 18, 2012

BTW and a Discount Coupon For You!

I'm still playing around with some of these today, re-stringing (finally) some jewelry for a friend and contemplating a few other things.

Vintaj embossed blanks that I've been playing around with

What's on YOUR Bead Table Today? 

I'm putting a few new pieces up in the
MiShel Designs Etsy Store later this week. 

Mystery Earrings that could possibly show up in my store this week!

Use coupon code "Valentine25" in the MiShel Designs Etsy Store upon check out and get 25% off your order! 

Faceted Amethyst Nugget Earrings

This coupon code is just for my blog friends and my facebook/twitter followers - it's not posted in my shop - so enjoy it while you can!

Leather and Hematite Wrap Bracelet available in the
MiShel Designs Etsy Store

On another note, I must not have rubbed my rabbit's foot the right way, cause I didn't get selected by the random number picker that Lori Anderson did for this round of the Bead Soup Blog Party

Congrats to all those who did get selected - you're going to have a blast!

Plus, it's still going to be super fun hopping around all over the internet on March 3rd  and drooling over what all the particpants created. 

It will be like "Disneyland on steriods" for all us bead lovers!

Everyone have a great "Hump Day" as you coast on into the weekend, okay?

Barbie's still hanging out on my Bead Table!!

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Random Stuff!

Linking up with Bead Table Wednesday today
over on Flickr!

Jan 15, 2012

I Heart Macro - It's Sunday!!

Soft Lines

 Soft Light

And some things that were forgotten,....

Happy Sunday!

Linking up with I Heart Macro over at

Until Next Time,

Peace, Love and Feelings!


As always, click on the photos to enlarge them. 
All photos by Michelle Buettner ~ 2012

Jan 14, 2012

Valentine's Day is Just Around the Corner

Okay - We all know that Valentine's Day is just around the corner and since the beginning of the year, Pearls and Pearl Designs have been a big hit and I'm guessing there's some pretty smart shoppers out there buying early for Valentine's Day (hint: They've told me that's what they're doing!!)

You've all got your Websites and Facebook pages all decked out for those shoppers, right?

What's that? You don't?  Me either, really.

Keshi Pearls by Michelle Buettner
As Seen In BeadStyle Magazine - July 2011

But, I have noticed that changing tags and re-listing regularly in my Etsy shop helps with getting noticed when people do a search so, here's a helpful link from Etsy on that.

You can use it not only to help you with your Etsy shop if you have one, but your Artfire shop,  your regular website, your Facebook Business Page, or whatever social media or internet site you use to market your designs.  Take the info that could be applied to you and your business and run with it!

I made special note of my best sellers over the past couple of months and yes indeed - the PEARLS have it - Hands Down!! So, I've got those listed first in my shop since that's what people tend to be looking for and, I have links on my blog for people to find out even more information on pearls as well.

Also, don't be afraid to give yourself credit where credit is due, pat yourself on the back or list yourself as an expert in your field - this is important if you want people to take you seriously.

I have a Pearls Diploma from GIA and list myself as a "Pearl Specialist" (my term, not GIA's!) and when my customers read my Etsy profile or look on the first page of my Website/Blog, they know this and realize they can ask questions and receive an educated answer; one they can trust.  

So, go figure out what your best sellers are (or, what you'd like your best sellers to be), dust the shelves of your shop and brush up on your 'expert' skills and put yourself out there.

Until Next Time,

Peace, Love, and Sharing Your Talents!

(All pearl jewelry designs by Michelle Buettner of MiShel Designs - copyright 2009/2010/2011/2012)