Nov 29, 2013

Focusing on Life - Week 48: Giving Thanks!

This is week 48 for the Focusing on Life: 52 Photos weekly photography challenge and our prompt from Sally over at
 
 
 
Giving Thanks!
 
What are you thankful for?
 
 
I do know that I am thankful for this journey through life that Sally has 'prompted' us to take this year and I'm so very thankful for all of you.
 
Every one's been saying how they're sad this photo challenge is coming to a close and they are hoping Sally (or someone) will keep things going on some level or in some capacity.  I'm hopeful of that too, and would take on that challenge if my life didn't seem to be headed in what I believe to be a totally different direction next year.

 
Right now I'm thankful for hot tea, soft blankets, the warm fire and the festive way the cabin is decorated by my sister for Thanksgiving!

 
I'm thankful for the various stringed instruments that have been played by my nephew, my brother-in-law and my son and the joy I get from hearing their music!
 
I'm thankful my hubby's restocking the wood pile and keeping the fires lit! 
 
I'm thankful I have a good, loving and fun family!

 
 
click photo collage to enlarge

 
 
I guess most of all, I'm thankful for the life I have been blessed with and for those in it.  
 
Until Next Time,
 
Peace, Love and Giving Thanks!
 
Cheers,
~Shel~

Giving Dad Bunny-Ears!



 Be sure to stop by and see what everyone else is 'Giving Thanks' for this weekend!

Shop Handmade - Sale This Weekend!

Please take a moment this holiday season while you're shopping to check out all the various handmade items that are being offered by so many talented artists. 
 
One of the places you can find an abundance of amazing skill and talent along with some super cool gifts is here:


Shop Handmade HERE!
 
  
 
I'm participating in this line up along with some extremely talented artists and we'd be honored for you to purchase our wares to give to those you are shopping for this holiday season.


 
 
Some people are offering specials, so check each shop to see what's going on. There's a list of the participating shops at the bottom of this post for your convenience.
Just click on each photo to go to their shop.
 
 
In my MiShel Designs Etsy shop, I'm offering 20% OFF your total order from now through Monday, December 2nd, 2013 when you use Coupon Code "TURKEY20" upon check out with Etsy.


 
 
It can be challenging for small businesses, especially the ones whose items are handcrafted, to compete with the deep discounts of the big box stores.  So while you may not see a ton of 50% off coupons or 'buy one, get one free' type of deals while shopping handmade this  holiday season, you will find unique, quality items that are priced fairly and support those who create for a living, keeping the arts alive. 


 
 
Please, shop local, shop small business, support the creative arts and purchase handmade items anytime you possibly can this gift giving season.  


 
 
Thank you so much for shopping handmade!

It's the small things that count!
 
Until Next Time,
 
Peace, Love and Enjoying Handmade!
 
Cheers,
~Shel~




 

Nov 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

To all those in the United States
celebrating today, Happy Thanksgiving!
 
 
 
May you have the luxury of spending time with your family, friends and loved ones this holiday weekend!
 
Safe travels to you all!
 
Until Next Time,
 
Peace, Love and Gratitude!
 
Cheers,
~Shel~

Nov 26, 2013

Shop Handmade this Holiday Season!

Please take a moment this holiday season while you're shopping to check out all the various handmade items that are being offered by so many talented artists. 
 
One of the places you can find an abundance of amazing skill and talent along with some super cool gifts is here:


Shop Handmade HERE!
 
  
 
I'm participating in this line up along with some extremely talented artists and we'd be honored for you to purchase our wares to give to those you are shopping for this holiday season.


 
 
Some people are offering specials, so check each shop to see what's going on. There's a list of the participating shops at the bottom of this post for your convenience.
Just click on each photo to go to their shop.
 
 
In my MiShel Designs Etsy shop, I'm offering 20% OFF your total order from now through Monday, December 2nd, 2013 when you use Coupon Code "TURKEY20" upon check out with Etsy.


 
 
It can be challenging for small businesses, especially the ones whose items are handcrafted, to compete with the deep discounts of the big box stores.  So while you may not see a ton of 50% off coupons or 'buy one, get one free' type of deals while shopping handmade this  holiday season, you will find unique, quality items that are priced fairly and support those who create for a living, keeping the arts alive. 


 
 
Please, shop local, shop small business, support the creative arts and purchase handmade items anytime you possibly can this gift giving season.  


 
 
Thank you so much for shopping handmade!

It's the small things that count!
 
Until Next Time,
 
Peace, Love and Enjoying Handmade!
 
Cheers,
~Shel~




 

Nov 25, 2013

Hidden in the Hills - Studio Tour

I just wanted to give a shout out to all those here in Arizona and let you know that the 17th Annual Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour and Sale is happening again this weekend, November 29th, 30th and December 1st.
 
Presented by the  Sonoran Arts League, this Favorite Fall Event spotlights artists of all mediums in and around the Carefree, Cave Creek and North Scottsdale areas. 
 
The self-guided tour of 46 studios and 168 working artists is a staple each fall in this area the weekends before and after Thanksgiving.
 
This exciting event provides a unique art experience allowing you the opportunity to interact with the artists and see first hand their creative process. 
 
This is the perfect outing for the family, art enthusiasts and serious collectors and gives you the chance to view and purchase many of these phenomenal items.
 
And, best of all, it's free! 
 
I have three very talented friends who are studio #18 this year on the tour and I wanted to show you a glimpse into their studio show and creative world!
 


 
 
 
I can't even begin to tell you how talented these three women are. Their work as jewelry artists is incredible, but they do so much more than jewelry, and man is their art superb!!
 
From glass to metal, casting to sculptures,...these innovative women have more talent in their little pinky fingers than I could ever hope to possess. Yes,...I am in awe of them. Rightly so. Take a look:
 
Jennifer Hanscom
 
 
 
 
Judy Carr





 
Patricia Shepherd
 
 
 
Their studio this year is located at Pat's Desert Jewel Studio in Cave Creek. 
 
I'm just happy to get to see their creations first hand.
And touch things,....yes I fondled their wares!
And drooled!
 
So, after you've stuffed your belly with some good turkey and fought the rush of crowds in the big box stores, do yourself and your family a favor,....go check out all the artist participating in Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour this year.
 
Shop Local. Shop Small Business.
Shop Handmade (True Handmade!) 
Keep The Creative Arts Alive!
 
Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Enjoying the Arts!
Cheers,
~Shel~

Nov 22, 2013

Focusing on Life: Week 47 - Centerpiece

It's week 47 for the Focusing on Life: 52 Photos weekly photo challenge hosted by Sally over at The Studio Sublime and our prompt this week was:
 
 
 
 
Centerpiece
 
"This week focus on what is the centerpiece, the central, most important feature in your day, week, life!  It makes you comfortable, brings you joy, brings you peace of mind, or is simply a place of comfort."
 
For me, this one was easy! Well, I thought it was going to be anyway.
 
These two. Yep - they're my "Centerpiece". My hub. My Rock. My World. My Everything!
 
My Goofy Boys!!
 
 
Only they're not much into having their photo snapped. I told them I didn't want to 'cheat' this week and use a photo of them that I already had and so they had better stand there and let me take their picture!
 
So they agreed. But only for a second.
And only for 1 photo they said.
 
Well, I think it was about 5 seconds, then they bolted so I couldn't get a second shot! Stinkers!
 
I played around with some editing and overlays, etc. I used one called 'Logan' on Pixlr. How appropriate, eh?!
 
And here's the rest of my "Centerpiece".  This was taken at our family reunion this summer up near my sis's cabin. With the exception of just a few who weren't able to make it, it's my sister and our two brothers and their families. These wonderful people are also my 'Centerpiece' and part of my 'Everything'!
 
 
 
 
I'm going to be spending Thanksgiving with some of these folks. Wishing I could spend it with all of them, but grateful for those of us that will be together! 
 
I'm wishing all of you here in the U.S. a wonderful Thanksgiving Day this Thursday and a fun, yet relaxing, holiday weekend.
 
May you have the luxury of spending time with your family, friends and those you are close to and may you be healthy, happy and 'full' of love and light!
 
Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Finding Center!
Cheers,
~Shel~

Nov 15, 2013

Focus on Life: Week 46 - Reflect

This is week 46 for the Focusing On Life: 52 Photos weekly photography challenge and our host, Sally, from over at the Studio Sublime gave us this prompt:
 
 
 
Week 46: Reflect
 
"The start of the Holiday season is coming up quickly whether we are ready or not, so before jumping in to all the hustle and bustle let's take a moment to slow down and reflect on all the joy, peace, happiness and love we already have in our life."
 
Wow - how on earth do I capture all the joy, peace, happiness and love that surrounds me in one photo - especially when all those I love and find joy with are spread through out the country?
 
Yep - a bit more challenging than it sounded when I first read this prompt last Sunday!! 
 
Last year during this time of year I was whining to my brother-in-law (aka - Older Wiser One) one day about how rude people were during the Holiday Season and how I thought this was supposed to be the "Happiest Time of the Year!"  And  his response went something like this,....
 
"There are people who don't feel the same as you do during this time of year Shelly because maybe they've lost a loved one and they're missing them.  Or maybe they can't be with the ones they love during the holidays and this makes them sad. Or, perhaps they are trying to figure out how they're going to put food on the table and they're worried there won't be enough money to feed the ones they love. Or maybe, they just don't have people around them who care about them like you do."
 
UGGHHHH! 
'Older-Wiser-One' is such a downer sometimes! 
But he was right. 

I needed to step out of my 'bubble' and realize how lucky I was and just accept things for what they were and not expect everyone to feel the same or act the same as I was acting and feeling.
(Just take things as they come and don't judge or be offended!)
 
So, this week I chose to "Reflect" on how lucky I am. 
(Truly Blessed - despite how some weeks I seem to forget this!)
 
And I wish those who might be feeling down or in despair the comfort and luxury of Joy, Peace, Happiness and Love as our year slides into its final weeks.
 
 
 
 
Until Next Time,
May Everyone Find Their Little Slice of Joy, Peace, Happiness and LOVE!
 
Cheers,
~Shel~

Nov 12, 2013

Bead Chat Magazine and Artisan Whimsy

I wanted to give a big shout out to Melinda Orr and all the ladies over at Bead Chat Magazine and Artisan Whimsy.
 
The November issue of Bead Chat Magazine is out and it's Fabulous!
 
 
 
 
Bead Chat Magazine did a tribute to Bead Trends Magazine, since it ceased publishing this summer, and featured several of the jewelry designers and their designs that were in the 'hopper' about to be published by didn't quite make the last publication. And, they did a feature on me since I was going to be the Beads Trends October Designer Highlight.  They did a super job including all the designs that were to be in the spread and made everything look just wonderful.

 
 
I can't thank them enough for publishing everything they did in the November issue of Bead Chat - thank you, thank you!!
 
I wanted to give a special thanks to Cynthia Machata over at Bead Chat. She put up with my endless email problems as I was switching computers and going from Windows 7 to Windows 8 at the same time.  Such a patient, creative and friendly soul - I don't know how she does it all, but she does. And, she does it with such grace. Thank you Cynthia - you made everything super easy!! (And you should see her jewelry! Yep - Pretty. Darn. Cool! :-)
 
This month's issue is jam packed with all sorts of goodies so be sure to click here and check it out.
 
And, some more exciting news - this month's the start of the all new and improved Artisan Whimsy site - be sure to go check it out as well.  The comradery on this site is unmatched. People sharing, helping each other - it's pretty cool!  There's lots of things in the works over there, so be sure to check back often.
 
Okay - time to get back to work!  I hope everyone enjoys their week!
 
Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Diggin' Bead Chat Mag!
Cheers,
~Shel~

Nov 9, 2013

Focus on Life: 52 Photos - Week 45 - Industrial Photography

It's week 45 (Holy Cow Smokes Batman, where has the year gone?!) for the Focusing on Life: 52 Photos weekly challenge hosted by the talented Sally Russick over at
The Studio Sublime.
 
 
 
Our prompt this week was:
 
Industrial Photography:  It's amazing how something perceived as cold and whose purpose is to perform a function can have a beautiful soul."
 
Well, this got me thinking - as our weekly prompts always do.
 
On Halloween, our son (aka - the Masked Rider) took a pretty good spill on his motorbike while taking it for a spin around the block here in our subdivision. I was at the grocery store when this happened and, long story fairly short,...here's the gist of it.
 
Normally, the "Masked Rider" looks like this when he rides his dirt bike (even around the block, pretty much!):
 
 
 
This day, he was dressed like this:
 
Logan was actually wearing only a tank top, basketball shorts and his riding boots when he crashed.
And, this is Mike's motorbike, which is much smaller than Logan's.
 
And this is what happened when he decided the street would look better paved with his skin than with the asphalt that was already there,....
 
 
Yep - OUCH!  His hands were the worst - well kind of!
 
 
Nope - not a pretty sight.
Didn't feel too good either according to Logan.
 
Lesson learned: always wear your helmet, NO MATTER WHAT!!  And gloves, a long sleeve shirt and some pants couldn't hurt, either! :-) 
 
We're the luckiest and most grateful parents on the planet that he didn't hit his head (which didn't have a helmet on it and although it's pretty hard, it's not that hard!!) and that this didn't turn out worse than it did.
 
But, I thought about what Sally said in her prompt. How something cold and 'industrial' (if you will) can have a beautiful soul.
 
Well, 'Scrape' as he's now referred to, is chomping at the bit to get back on his bike and ride. To him, it has a soul. It's beautiful in his eyes.  (it's his fault he biffed it he said, not the bike's fault)
 
So, here's a piece of 'soul' from his bike:
 
This is a pic I took of his broken muffler.
It wasn't broken in the crash, but it was a kind of cool angle/pic to get - so I grabbed it!
 
 
And yes, he's doing fine - thanks to all of you who follow me on facebook and sent well wishes. They were greatly appreciated!
 
Then there's this. This definitely has a soul. And, it's back in use. It's the water line from Grandma Emma's cabin that burned in the Wallow Fire a few summers back.
 
Utility pipe that was burned in the Wallow Fire at Grandma Hindman's.
It's now in use at the new cabin that's over close to where the old one was.
Yippee!!
 
Now, it's back up and running to the new cabin that's being put in close to where Grandma's was!
 
How beautiful is that?!
 
Not exactly sure if these are considered 'Industrial' photos or not, but I thought this was a very cool prompt this week Sally - I'm looking at things in a totally different manner than before and am excited to see what every one's going to post this weekend.
 
I'm prepping for a show tomorrow, so I may not get to every one's posts until next week - sorry about that!!
 
Now, hop around today and see what other beautiful, industrial souls were found this week!
 
Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Feeling Blessed!
Cheers,
~Shel~

Nov 8, 2013

MiShel Designs Fall Jewelry Boutique and Trunk Show

 
 
Just a reminder that I will be hosting, along with my sister, the MiShel Designs Fall Jewelry Boutique and Trunk Show down in Casa Grande, AZ this Sunday, November 10th from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 
 
 
 
 
Along with several new and fun jewelry designs to see and handle, Marsha's making her famously delicious Pico de Gallo and we're serving up some yummy drinks, too.
 
 
 
There will be live acoustic guitar (and possibly some ukulele) music to relax with and Mina (the best massage therapist around) is going to be setting up in a private room so you can book a half-hour back massage with her and be able to go home feeling super relaxed in your new jewelry designs!
 
 
 
Looking forward to seeing everyone there!
 
Until Next Time,
 
Peace, Love and Fall Show Time!
 
Cheers,

~Shel~
 

Nov 6, 2013

The Key,...

~The Sea Will Forever Hold The Key To All That Is Me ~

 


A little while back I received an email from my ultra talented friend Jeannie Dukic of Jewelry By Jeannie. Some of you may remember last year when I participated in Jeannie's Design Group, the Echo Creative Club.




Jeannie makes fabulous beads (and really cool jewelry too, by the way), and not just any beads, but super great, polymer clay beads. I had never really worked with Polymer clay beads or pendants in my designs before Jeannie asked me to design with hers last year and wow, what a treat, let me tell you what! 

"My Cherry Tree" necklace by Michelle Buettner
 

I truly enjoyed designing with Jeannie's beads and pendants.  They helped me step out of my design box a bit and try new colors, new materials and different styles - it felt good. And challenging, too. 

So, in Jeannie's recent email, she asked me if I'd be interested in designing something with a few of her new beads she just 'perfected' to look exactly like lamp-work glass beads.
 
Um,....YES, I would! :-)
 
She explained how after much trial and error and going through A LOT of polymer to get them exactly right, she was ready to put them up on her website store and she thought about asking me to design something with a few of them. (Thank you so much Jeannie!!)

Polarity Beads - Jewelry By Jeannie
 
When I opened the package Jeannie sent me (which itself was a work of art!) I was delighted to find these beautiful beads staring back at me.

 

See what I mean - lovely!!

They really DO look just like lampwork beads!!

Incredible!

I was excited at their beautiful blue color. They remind me of aquamarine blue and the color of the sea.  I tried to put some of my aquamarine stones with them - but what I had in my gem stash just didn't go with these beads - mine were too 'green' or something,....not what I had envisioned. 

To me, these beads were screaming "Sea!! Ocean!! Waves!!", so I got out some of my glass beads that look like beach glass and went to work.

I grabbed some C-Lon cord (beadshop.com) in Turquoise and did a bit of macramé to mimic the 'wave' feeling I had with these and added some various sizes and shapes of seed beads in different shades of blues to the glass beads for some contrast in size and texture.

 

I know, I know,...you're all shocked that I actually HAVE seed beads aren't you?  Well, truth be told, I have two little 'bins' completely full of them. Why?  I don't know.  Food for the vacuum, I guess. I can hear it squeal with delight from the broom closet each time I get the bins out. Lord knows that other than stringing them (and I don't even do that very well!), I could never work with these little rascals.  I have such admiration for people who work with them.  I mean seriously, the art they create with these tiny little things just amazes me.

Anyway, I got in this 'zone', if you will, while creating with Jeannie's perfect polymer beads and here's what came of my creative session.

 
 
Jeannie's new beads are called 'Polarity Beads' and they are a dream to work with. So light and versatile. That's one of the main things I like about polymer clay pieces (other than the fact that they can actually look like any other material on earth),  - their weight - or lack there of, actually. It helps when designing pieces so you don't have to have objects of equal weight on the other side to balance the bracelet or whatever you're designing. And, for earrings, these beads would be perfect because they can be larger, but not have the over-the-top weight of some glass beads - thus not weighing you earlobes down. Yeah!! 


 
 
I used this little Heart/Key charm from B'Sue's Boutique as my focal for the necklace. You can't really see the inscription - especially since I used some gilder's paste (also from B'Sue's) over it - but it says:  "He who holds the key, can unlock my heart"
 
Well, the sea holds the key to my heart.

At least that's what it feels like when I'm there,....

 
 
I truly enjoyed creating with Jeannie's new beads and using them as the inspiration for this set.
 
I guess you could say they unlocked a sort of 'key' to a certain area of creativity for me!

"The Key" Jewelry set by MiShel Designs, Polymer Clay Polarity Beads
by Jeannie of Jewelry by Jeannie.
 
 
I hope you get the chance to hop on over to Jeannie's shop and check out all her other lovelies!
 
I personally have my eye on one of her newer Acanthus Pendants (the blue one will go perfectly with some of my Ancient Roman Glass Beads from both Happy Mango and Philip Mertens).
 
I mentioned to the hubs that it would be cool for Christmas - so we'll see what shows up in my stocking on Christmas morning!! :-)
 
Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Keys to Creativity!
Cheers,
~Shel~