Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Scout Creative's Calendar of the Month Club

Have you seen Scout Creative's Calendar of the Month Club? Each month, they offer a free download of a calendar for you to print and construct. Last year, I did the July calendar (RV camping scene) and found it easy and fun to put together. I think these snails for March are awesome. Click here to find the download.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


A few fun finds from Vanillawood...

I'm not sure if pink or plum will ever pop up in my home due to our 4:1 boy-girl ratio. But ever since this post, I keep thinking about how to sneak some in. And this rug would sure fit the bill. Except for the sneaking part. It's not really a subtle sort of rug. But maybe if I distract my 3Cs with the striped marbles, they wouldn't protest too much...maybe.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Turquoise Bow Ring

After trial and error with a Yellow Bow Ring I made for my friend, I decided to try one out in another favorite color. Introducing the Turquoise Bow Ring...

Please visit my Etsy Shop for more unique accessories.

Crikey! It's Cracked!

Well, friends, I would have loved for the above photo to have been a finished piece of jewelry. I worked on this Turquoise Blossom at length only to have an imperfection arise in the final stage of the process. I fixed that to my satisfaction. And then I noticed a noticeable crack running along the bottom edge of one of the petals. Ugh! I was disappointed and floundering in uncertainty about whether I should keep going. But the final test was my husband. He's a very encouraging person with nary a critical bone in his body. He listened to my tale of woe, took a look at the blossom and said, "Yeah, I see what you're saying. Could you fix it somehow?" Total confirmation that this was not good to go. The answer to whether I can fix the crack is still being worked out. Maybe I'll be able to fix it. But maybe not. And that's just how life sometimes is...imperfect, disappointing and broken.

The backdrop to my little dilemma was that I attended a women's conference at my church this weekend entitled, "Fear Not! Finding God's Comfort for My Fearful Soul." At the end of the first session, our speaker had us fill out a little card sharing what we fear. She then sorted our responses to come up with the most common area of fear for the women attended the conference. Before revealing the top area of fear, she went through other common responses...finances, issues related to children and grandchildren, medical concerns. Each one of those seemed a likely candidate for the most common fear among us. But in fact, the most common fears dealt with various aspects of shame. Being afraid of being found out as a fraud, an imperfect person who doesn't measure up. Wow. As soon as she said that, I was right there identifying with those women even though that hadn't come to mind when I filled out my own card. I've struggled with those feelings in lots of areas but especially through making and selling my jewelry. I've had loads of fear...will I do this right? Will anyone like this? Will I be able to come up with new ideas? It can keep a person up at night. For me, I truly find comfort in the God who is always with me. He knows that I'm sooooo imperfect and He loves me anyway. There's no pretending with Him. As our speaker Tara Barthel said, "Shame rejects but the Gospel accepts." So true. Jesus accepts me no matter what the cracks in my life are. And that gives me the comfort and courage to keep going. Peace to your souls.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Have a Relaxing Weekend

It's Friday and I'm ready to hang up my bag and relax a little. What are your plans for the weekend? Tonight, we have friends coming over and my 3Cs are counting down the minutes until they get here. I'm going to a conference all day tomorrow so I'm looking forward to being refreshed and encouraged. And then I have a date with my husband on Sunday night to look forward to. A little busy but good things going on nonetheless. Hope your weekend is relaxing.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

White, Wood, & Sparkly Good

Isn't this light-filled Flatiron Apartment from Scout Designs NYC just beautiful...

The white, wood and touches of sparkle (love the side table and dresser!) along with splashes of unexpected red is just right. I want to soak in that bath and then curl up in a sunny patch to read...or snooze. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pretty Pairing

Despite spending some time outside today playing with my 3Cs, I'm feeling cold right now and wishing that spring would hurry along a bit. And nothing says spring like the soft folds and pretty pleats of a skirt. I think either of these beautiful skirts from Anthropologie would pair nicely with my latest pair of hair pins...

As you can see, my obsession with charcoal gray and yellow is still alive and well.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sweet Little Succulent in Green Apple

I've been working on a number of items in a new color, Green Apple. What I've added to my Shop so far is  what I think is my most realistic looking succulent ring. Introducing the Sweet Little Succulent Ring in Green Apple...

Isn't it a sweet little thing?

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Trio of Minty Goodness

Green is my favorite color. I don't love all shades of green equally but mint has become a particular favorite of mine. Here's a trio of minty goodness...

Aqua Fade Bowl Set

ZigZag Note Card

Chevron & Greek Key Throws in Mint

Have a refreshing weekend!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Raspberry Plum

I'm super inspired by the beautiful hues of purple, lavender, raspberry, plum, violet and pink that stylist Barbara Groen artfully combines with just the right amount of white and charcoal...

For someone who likes white, gray and neutrals, this is a refreshing change of pace. And I love the details in each image...the woodland theme in an unexpected pink, the Russian nesting dolls in purple, every whimsical pillow and every gorgeous pouf and that bronze pendant lighting and...well, you get the idea. I love it all. Barbara Groen's work is simply lovely.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Little Blooms Everywhere

Little blooms are popping up all over my The Striped Straw. There is now a pair of Little Bloom earrings in bright and cheery Cerise, a pair in calm and cool Sky Blue, and a pair in red hot Red. And I've updated the Charcoal Gray Little Bloom Earrings. (My own pair of Charcoal Gray Little Blooms is my go-to pair most days.) These days, my little blooms are coming up with even more delicate details. Enjoy!

From My Heart to Yours

Happy Valentine's Day! I know this day means a lot of different things to different people. For me, I have a warm and fuzzy feeling about Valentine's Day and that actually stems from the way my mom made Valentine's Day special for us as we were growing up. Valentine's Day in our house meant heart-shaped, homemade goodies, usually decorated sugar cookies or cupcakes. And it meant a little gift waiting for us as the breakfast table...maybe a pair of heart earrings or a heart-shaped rubber stamp and candy of some sort. And it would be packaged prettily and full of the love that my mom had poured into it. And when you begin the day like that, knowing that you're loved, it doesn't matter so much what the rest of the day holds. 

So for my 3Cs, I gathered a few things I knew they would enjoy... heart candy, dessert flavored gum and brightly colored pencils and wrapped them up in special bags that I stamped. I hope to pass on to them the blessing of knowing that they are loved and cherished by their parents and especially by the Lord. 
Here's to a day full of love and joy!

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

Monday, February 13, 2012

Little Pleasures in Life

Hello! I'm getting here a little late today. I had one of those "I didn't think today was going to turn out like it did" kind of days, but in a good way. Anyway, I hope your weekend was fabulous. I had a great weekend but it was over in the blink of an eye. So, here's a quick re-cap of what I've been enjoying...

I made these yummy GF Peanut Butter bars for dessert last night. I topped part of the bars with crushed peanut M&M's (not gluten free) but you can add what you like. They're made with natural ingredients that are usually on-hand and they're easy to make and easy to adapt with different toppings.

I stayed up late last night with my husband and mom-in-law to watch a double episode of Downton Abbey. It was so worth staying up late. If you haven't caught the craze yet, you can check out what I said about it here or here.

Today, I came across this little guy and other lovely treasures that I want to bring home.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Stamps & Valentine Printables

Since Valentine's Day is just around the corner, it's time for me to work on some hand-crafted cards for my Honey and my 3Cs. I enjoy making cards and have been a stamper for a long time but I find myself tending towards cards made with paper punches or other pre-made artwork because they're faster. Still, it would be nice to sit down and take the time to stamp out some cute cards. And it would be super fun to use some of the adorable stamps from Paper Source. (for Valentine's Day and beyond...)

But if you find yourself pressed for time, here's a nice sampling of free Valentine printables conveniently gathered in one place on How About Orange and another collection of sweet printables from Eat Drink Chic.

p.s. I love this stamp too!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Overwhelmingly Precious

Photo by my husband

As I sit here at my computer, I confess that I'm feeling rather overwhelmed. I see numerous piles of papers that I need to file away. I see jewelry projects covering this surface and taking over that space. I'm also thinking about the many things I need to seriously sit down and try to figure how do I feed my children healthy and tasty food when I have a modest budget and their appetites are anything but modest? (I'm mean these boys can eat and they're not teenagers, not even close. For example, I bought a bag of apples on Sunday and it was gone in less than 24 hours. Yes, I'm very happy that their go-to snacks are apples but it does present a problem of how to provide enough apples when there isn't an orchard in our backyard.) And what about all of those fun projects that we're supposed to be doing as a homeschool family? We did a couple of little experiments with static electricity today but come on, we're not exactly carving Mt. Rushmore into a sweet potato. And now my youngest C is scratching a game of tic tac toe onto his arm with a rogue skewer from our science kit. And did I mention that the skin on my face has decided to freak out a bit and create some new topographical features for me? Eek! What a day.

And yet, I know these days of little ones swirling around me and Legos and puzzle pieces crunching under foot and pile upon pile of carefully colored drawings are fleeting. I have to pause and appreciate what my day has held. Like when my 3Cs told me that I'm so pretty that they want to faint. (Isn't a son's love for his mama just the best?) And when my middle C laid down on his back and pedaled his feet (also fondly referred to as potatoes) in the air to ask if he could go on a bike ride. And when my littlest C gave me the tiniest foam duck that he had decorated with little square stickers as a gift. And when my oldest C admitted that working on writing a paragraph wasn't so bad. Ahh... these are the days of my life...overwhelmingly precious.