Saturday, April 9, 2011

Busy, busy

Chica Boutiqua is coming up this Saturday, April 16 from 10-4 at the Zionsville Town Hall and you don't want to miss it. I have been so busy this past week. I've got some new designs going on and Nature's Karma over in Carmel at Clay Terrace just got them in about a week ago. It's perfect for summer. Handbags with a beautiful flower on each one that compliments each handbag. And, in case you are wondering the flowers are made from fabric scraps that I have been saving a LOOOONG time! Melissa, the owner at Nature's Karma, is great! She just called me up and said it was time to replenish for Spring and so she bought up all of what I had - which I wasn't quite prepared for, but it was a definite blessing! So, I've been in my studio this week working feverishly to get ready for Chica Boutiqua and I think you're going to find that special handbag or piece of jewelry that you've been looking for. I'll have plenty of tshirts, hopefully some pillows and new jewelry with sea glass from Puerto Rico! (This is what happens when you love to make stuff) :) Here's some earrings that I've been working on. They're a double strand of sterling silver chain with 3 freshwater pearl bobbles.

This little trinket bracelet is made with artisan silver, leather and gemstones that range from turquoise, jasper, agate. It's unique as you can tell.

Here's another bracelet that I did. This one's a little different; it has the artisan silver heart dangling and no leather piece on the side. All of these will be at Chica Boutiqua or you can visit my ETSY website:

Here's the store front at Nature's Karma. This store carries great fair trade items, an array of unique gift items and a great line of skin care products developed by the owner, Melissa. Her joy is contagious!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring is in the air, hang the door watchamacallit!

Spring has finally sprung in Indiana; I really hope Mother Nature isn't playing a joke on us! I think today we're supposed to hit 70!! Woohoo!!!!

In my cost saving and recycling mode, I made this great door hanger out of recycled coffee burlap sack. I lined it with some duckcloth and then used burlap webbing for the handle. It measures about 12" x 4" so it's tall and narrow which is perfect for a bouquet of flowers.

It's also a no-nonsense, easy door decoration. It's just simple; which is how I'm really beginning to like things.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

something new....

Here's some of the latest things that I've been working on. These earrings are wrapped in brown waxed linen cord and then I added a red coral bobble. They hang about 2 1/2 inches. These are those pair of earrings that you could wear everyday and never grow tired of.

Here's another angle...

Here's a bracelet that I just finished. The center silver piece is a figure eight and it's flanked by two hammered circles. I joined the pieces by wire wrapping leather; something I've never done before, but it looks great. I added some bobbles -> an artisan silver heart and then a wire wrapped red coral. The gemstones in this piece are orange aqua terra jasper, green turquoise, cranberry red jade, kingman turquoise, chrysocolla, orange sea jasper & sea sediment jasper.

Here's a close up of the wire wrapping

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Military uniforms make great handbags!!!

I met with Mandy about two weeks ago and she knew she wanted two handbags made out of her Dad's Air Force uniform. She preferred the messenger style handbags and then left the rest up to me. Here's her Dad's uniform which was in pretty good shape. His uniform had a few moth holes and it was faded, but that only added to the character of the bag. He was an airman.

Here, you can see the fabric has been cut and I've made good use of the pockets and design of the jacket. Mandy brought me her dad's total uniform (even the pants) which I had to use for the back of the handbags.

Mandy was able to find one military patch from her dad and I added it to the detail of the purse.

I used his trousers for the straps of the purse and then added his name tape to the strap and also U.S. Air Force. I love this detail and totally makes the purse unique.

Here, again, you can see the front of the purse. I added a lapel to the flap of the purse along with another front pocket. The silver buttons are a nice added feature.

If you know anyone who would like to have a handbag made out of a purse, please pass along my name. I loved creating this for Mandy and her sister and hope it will be a huge fashion statement!!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Single Moms' Super Saturday

It's so funny how things work out. Fifteen years ago, I was a single mom and I've always had a heart for single moms and their difficulties. I was truly blessed with Jay, but still I've had a soft spot for single moms. And, I really believe that God has a plan for all of us and it is baby steps all the way until he gets us where He wants us to go. So, He sends me to Africa to share my testimony with about 50 moms who have a lot of the same struggles that any American single mom would have. God orchestrated a connection with me and them that I could have NEVER done myself. He used me! Someone who never cracked the bible open until I was in my early 30's. I didn't even know where the New Testament started; let alone what it was about. Then, He opens the door for a single moms' lifegroup that I get to lead and He knows I'm nervous so He meets me where I am and He walks me thru it. Then, He places on the heart of Trader's Point Christian Church a Single Moms' Super Saturday and they contact me to kind of walk thru what a Super Saturday should look like and now I'm heading it up. I am totally out of my comfort zone, but that's ok because I know He has prepared me.

I just started reading this great book by Ann Voskamp called One Thousand Gifts and it is amazing. She really writes extensively about giving thanks for EVERYTHING-and that's something I don't do. She cites Phillipians 4: 11-12 I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. She reiterates how Paul has said that he has "learned" to be thankful. She goes on to say, "Learn how to be thankful-whether empty of full. Could the list teach me even the hard language? Over time? Gratitude in the midst of death and divorce and debt-that's the language I've got to learn to speak-because that's the kind of life I'm living, the kind I have to solve." For me, I guess that's where I'm evolving. Thankful that Jay lost his job, thankful that life is hard now, but we still have our Faith and love and know that God is with us. Thankful that even during this difficult time that God is blessing me with Single Moms' Super Saturday and a time to spend it with some amazing women.

Ann cites 1Corinthians 11:23-24 "On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. The he broke it in pieces ...". Jesus offered Thanksgiving before his darkest moment. She says, "Jesus offers thanksgiving for even that which will break Him and crush Him and wound Him and yield a bounty of joy. The mystery always contains more mysteries."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I have been so inspired by the jewelry I've seen in the Sundance catalog; each piece is amazing, but so doggone (funny family word) expensive. I love the turquoise and other gemstones that are used along with the sterling silver. For me, turquoise and the earth tones found in so many of the gemstones can be worn with almost every outfit. So, I guess you could say I've been "experimenting". Here's a pair of earrings that I finished the other day. The scroll work in the crosses is beautiful! You can check them out on my ETSY website.

Here's a decorative pillow that I just finished up. IT's made from the burlap coffee sacks that I use for my purses. The mixture of the wording on the burlap along with the burlap texture really adds to the richness of the pillow. The back of the pillow is a wide whale brown corduroy, but anything could be used.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Dear Rafik

Dear Rafik,

You may not remember me; I met you two years ago during my mission trip in Malawi. I was only in your village about 8 days, but in that short time you stole my heart. You just loved to be held and loved on and played with. You were a snuggler and I was happy to supply you with all the holding you could endure because my kids are grown. I held you on the front steps of the unfinished school house while you slept in my arms. The picture that I have posted is probably my favorite picture because your eyes look so big and your face still is chubby and you look so cute with that crown on your head. We taught all the kids at VBS that day that you are a child of the King and this is the crown you made. But, I'm not the only one that bonded with you, so many other people loved you from all the other mission trips; you blessed all of us with your joy and love for everyone.

I had friends that said I would want to bring a child home and they were right. After returning, I told everyone that if I could have adopted a child; you were the one. I would have taken you home in a minute. But I never pursued it. Although I knew your life was hard and your parents had both died from AIDS and you were living with other family members, I had reasoned that it was better for you to stay with family than to go through the transition of living with me. And, then, our church came up with a program to sponsor kids and we sponsored you and so I felt like I was taking care of you with money, but without really taking the responsibility and all the work that goes along with adoption. I sent picture albums so you could remember me and have pictures of yourself and know that I loved you. I had planned on coming to see you every couple years and following your life that way and seeing what God was going to do in the life of such an amazing young boy.

So, Rafik, my sweet baby you are in heaven now and I must ask for forgiveness. Because I know I should have done more, but I didn't. My life is so easy and there is medical care for everyone, cleanliness is not an issue and there is medicine. It never really sunk in with me that you may not live. But, now I see that my little amount of sponsorship money cannot get you out of the poverty and the diseases. I'm so sorry I didn't do more. I'm so sorry that I didn't really check into adoption, I remembered that to adopt in Malawi that you had to live in the country for two years and so I just accepted that. I should have fought harder, but I didn't. Rafik, I hope when we see each other again, that you will forgive me. I don't know what I'm going to do going forward, but I know that your 4 years of life have touched me and I hope that God will use this for something good and maybe we can save lives of other children that live in your village. Can we get a fund in place to pay for medical care? Can we hire a medical doctor? Can we teach the women in the village what to look for and care for sick children?

'Till we meet again...