Monday, November 19, 2012

Some of my Favorite Things in Blue

My dad loved to decorate for Christmas in blue...his mom always had blue candle lights in the window of their house in the winter and one of his uncles had blue lights on the Christmas tree.  The last few years before he and mom died, Dad changed their tree over to blue lights and it was beautiful.
I'm sharing some of my favorite blue items from the talented artists from the On Fire for Handmade group.  Maybe you'll find the perfect gift you've been looking for!
This beautiful Snowflake Charm Necklace is from Shade Tree Studio.  I love the modern feel of this necklace.
I collect Christmas churches and I love these Christmas Chapels Insulated Coasters by VA Beach Quilter.  The church in this design looks a lot like the little country church I grew up in.
There have been hydrangeas growing no matter where I have lived and they are one of my favorite flowers.  This photo of blue hydrangeas by Janet Long Arts captures the early shades of green through the deep Nikko blue in one picture.
I have long been a fan of Jim and Gina Mahoney's work and I love this sweet Honey Pot from their Hummingbird Studio Pottery shop.
This painting on a page of an old book by Kostas Tsipos has found its way to my personal "wish list" this Christmas. 
As a huge fan of the ombre effect, these Dark Flower Earrings by Becky Helmer Designs caught my eye.  Delicate and striking...what a great combination!
And finally, because I'm wishing for a  White Christmas this year, here's a snowflake cross stitch pattern from One of a Kind Baby Design.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

It all started with the mashed potatoes...

Family dinners at our house have always been a little crazy.  And when I say our house, I mean my Granny's house.  At one point we had 27 people sitting at a table that stretched from the wall in the dining room to the opposite wall in the living room. You had to have conversations by carrier pigeon that year.
This is the last family photo we had taken...three generations all together
Not that we was always great to have the family together.  We all lived fairly close to each other, but with work and kids and schedules it seemed that the only time everyone got together was at the holidays.
And inevitability, there are the family stories that are part of what makes the holidays so much fun--reminders of our shared past that bring us together even though there are so many things that are different in our lives.
All of us in 1980...well, not me because I'm taking the picture!
Each month, the talented artists who are part of the Facebook group, Bead and Jewelry Artisans, are given a challenge.  We are given a topic and then asked to create a necklace using that topic as inspiration.  
This month's topic was "Thanksgiving Dinner" and what an incredible amount of colors and textures to work with!  No matter how you celebrate Thanksgiving, each person's dinner is unique to their family and lends itself to to creativity of this challenge.
One of the fun things that happened each and every year (well, each time Granny and Poppop had company over for dinner if truth be told) was the conversation about the mashed potatoes.
Poppop would peel and cube pounds  and pounds of potatoes and start them boiling on the stove.  Granny would come over and decide that we didn't have enough and ask Poppop to peel a few more.  Poppop would sigh, remind her that we always had so many mashed potatoes left over, and then proceed to smile and peel a few more potatoes.
It's one of those events that you can count on to occur every time.  And there is a certain amount of security in that. 
So my necklace, as strange as it may sound, was inspired by mashed potatoes. 

 I found shiny and frosted white pearls in my stash that reminded me of the color of mashed potatoes.  I added large and small faceted crystals for some sparkle and then put it all together with a variety silver bead caps and silver wire. 
All in all, I really love how this necklace turned out and each time I wear it, I will remember the fun times our family had when I was growing up.