Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I've been busy creating!

Over the holiday weekend I really got in the holiday spirit and creative mode! I decorated the house, as you all saw by my previous post and another post to come, but I also went to my jewelry table and created some holiday sparklies for my etsy site. Here is a sampling of what I created:

I love the color of this African turquoise bead and the green foil glass bead with the handmade hammered copper disk!

This turquoise necklace is so versatile-can be worn with jeans and a t-shirt or something a little more dressed up!

There is something about snowflakes that I just love-maybe because no two are alike. I placed an ice blue Swarovski crystal with these lovely snowflake charms.

I just love this dainty little earring! I think I'll have to make a pair for myself!! The rich red bead gives color to the sparkly silver holly leaves.

Everyone has to have a snowman or snowgirl in their holiday! So I created these beautiful Swarovski pearl and crystal snowgirls! I have named them Snowman earrings on my etsy site but they are definitely snowgirls!

I have decided to create a ribbon bookmark line and this is the first one I've created. I have about 6 more on my design table and will be putting them on my site on Wednesday night. I just love ribbons and thought ribbons and jewels/charms would be a wonderful and inexpensive gift idea!

This Swarovski crystal Christmas tree pair of earrings add whimsy and sparkle! Isn't that what Christmas is all about!

I hope you all love my creations and stop by the etsy site to do a little retail therapy! You can go to the right side of my blog and click on my etsy site. It will take you right there! Happy Shopping!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

2010 Christmas Decorations Part I

I spent alot of Friday decorating the house for Christmas. I changed the mantel this year. I bought some mercury glass candle holders and wanted to incorporate them into the decorations this year. Here are some things I got done:

This is a little dark (my flash is still acting up!). I will try and take a better picture another day. All my new mercury glass looks so good up there on the mantel!! I am really pleased with it.

This is the right side of the mantel decorations.

This is the left side of the mantel decorations.

Closeup of mercury glass votive candle holders.

Center of mantel decorations.

These are all my Byer's Carolers I've collected over the years. They are on top of my antique NY state stepback cupboard in the Dining Room.

I have a small whitewashed cabinet in the kitchen eating area. I had to decorate that too!

I keep this little Garden holder up year round and just change out the decoration during the year.

This is a antique sled I painted in the late 80's. I love the way Santa's beard came out! I really love this piece!

John and I drink only tea and this tea set is perfect for the two of us. We usually sip tea with some Christmas cookies by the fireplace.

This is my sideboard in the kitchen eating area, which was just perfect for my "sugar" houses and churches!

We have a granite breakfast ledge and I just had to add a touch of country Christmas to it! I've collected this items over the years and I bring them out every year to spend Christmas with us!

Well I hope you have enjoyed your little tour! I will be posting some more pictures of the decorations tomorrow or the next day!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Table Setting and Wedding Jewelry

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday with friends and family! Now the Christmas holiday season begins! I spent most of yesterday decorating the house for Christmas. I was so excited my silver mercury glass mantel came out just as I envisioned! Photos to follow. I only need to add 2 white candles to the anchor candle holders and it will be complete. I need some greenery for my Dining Room table centerpiece and then that will all be done too! I set my nativity up on the console table in the front hall and this year I have decided not to put the Dept. 56 Dickens Village up. I used vintage Santas and "sugar" houses on the sideboard instead. We have decided to have a live tree this year and we'll be buy and setting that up next weekend. Overall yesterday was a really productive day and alot of fun! Hubby helped me get all the boxes out of the attic. We had a great day together :)!

For our Thanksgiving table setting this year I decided to use my green depression glass. Here is a picture of the table all set waiting for us!

Right before Thanksgiving (literally the day before) I had alot of jewelry to create for a wedding. Here are a few of the pieces (sorry some of the pictures are a little dark, my flash on my camera was acting up):

This was all of the jewelry I had to create for the Bride the day before Thanksgiving.

These are the bracelets. I needed to make 4 three-stranded bracelets. 2 were the same (she had 2 maid of honors) and then I had to make 2 other ones that were the same for the other bridesmaids.

Here is a closeup of those bracelets.

The groom's children were in the wedding, so there were 2 bracelets for those 2 little girls and then the small cream one was for the flower girl.

Here are the earrings I made. There were 4 prs. of earrings with the 4 pearls, 1 with 3 pearls and 1 with 2 pearls.

I made everything in about 4 hours and while I was stressed out trying to do Thanksgiving cooking and making this jewelry it all got done on time!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

I may not be online tomorrow so I just wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving to all my lovely blog friends! Our family has many things to be thankful for! I hope that all of you enjoy a meal with either family or friends and if you are travelling you are safe!

This morning on my drive into work I was thinking back to all the Thanksgiving I've been a part of and all the memories! Both sets of my grandparents are gone now but what fun we would have when they were alive! Even though there are loved ones that are no longer here with us, I'm sure they are here with us in spirit. Thanksgiving my 2 girls always reflect about the Thanksgivings we have had since they were born and they always have such wonderful things to say, so I guess that is a blessing in itself! Hopefully next year there will be another little member at the table sharing our family Thanksgiving with us and our family will just keep growing and growing!

Enjoy your day, be thankful for what you have and most of all be happy my friends!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Take Time for Yourself during this Holiday Season!

I know some of you will be cooking (myself included) this Thanksgiving and running around cleaning your house, grocery shopping, entertaining, etc, etc. but everyone needs to take a little "me" time. During the holiday season we run around all over the place trying to take care of everything and everyone and I think we forget ourselves. Make sure you drink plenty of water, get some rest so your immune system doesn't get run down and really enjoy what this holiday season is about!

So while you are cooking this:

or baking this:

or running around all over the place during this wonderful holiday season, pour yourself a cup of hot tea or coffee, grab one of the wonderful holiday books off your bookshelf and take a few minutes to indulge yourself in the holiday spirit and enjoy some "me" time!

Everyone that is traveling over this Thanksgiving holiday, be safe and enjoy! Everyone have a wonderful, joyous and thankful Thanksgiving! One of my many things I am thankful for is for all of my blog friends I have! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Mermaid's Pendant Book Review

Inspired by the beloved classic The Little Mermaid, THE MERMAID’S PENDANT is a modern fairy tale about growing up and discovering who you are—and what you believe in. At times lyrical, this novel is a fantastic journey filled with magic, myth, romance, and adventure. Four years after John Wilkerson claims the mermaid Tamarind for his wife, they have an idyllic marriage that depends on a talisman that she crafted on their island paradise. But Tamarind learns a painful truth: it takes more than legs to live on land and more than magic to sustain a bond. When the talisman breaks, she and John are forced to rely on themselves instead of magic. Three wise women play key roles in the young lovers’ journey to mature love. Ana, Tamarind’s aging mentor, casts spells and performs seductions to keep the lovers apart. Valerie, an expat jewelry maker cum fairy godmother, works her own magic to bring them together. Lucy, their widowed neighbor, grounds the couple in the realities of marriage, parenting, and family. THE MERMAID’S PENDANT is a story for anyone who has ever believed in the transforming power of love.
You can visit her website at www.nealreilly.com.

About the author:

LeAnn Neal Reilly
May 08, 1968 in St. Joseph, Missouri,United States
website: http://www.nealreilly.com
LeAnn Neal Reilly graduated with a master’s degree in professional writing from Carnegie Mellon University. She lives outside Boston with her husband and three children.

My Review of this book:

I am not normally a fantasy reader but I was very interested in the book. I was reviewing this book for the author through Feed Blitz.

My daughters loved The Little Mermaid when they were little. My youngest especially love that story! That is the way I felt about this book, I really enjoyed reading it. This modern day fairytale leads you on a wonderful journey through the romance and adventures of Tamarind and John. There are spell casters, other magic, good times, bad times all wrapped up in this novel. This is a huge book at 586 pages, but it is worth the read! I will warn you I felt the beginning was a little slow but then it ramped up pretty quickly after that. I don’t want to give anything more away so read The Mermaid’s Pendant and enjoy the magic found in the power of love!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What a perfect day today!!

It was such a perfect and beautiful day today! John and I had breakfast with our friends from the old neighborhood. That new restaurant Skillets we found is wonderful!

Then Megan came over and she and I went for our pedicures! Just wonderful-what a fabulous place! I had the best pedicure I have ever had!! I will be having another one right before Christmas and a manicure too!

She and I then headed over to Home Goods. I found 2 silver candleholders for the mantel for Christmas, a DVD for Jenny, 2 small pictures for Megan and tea for John's stocking. I have some things for all of them already, but I need a few more things! I still have to shop for the son-in-laws, my sister and her family and my Mom. I made a calendar on line today for my Dad. I had taken alot of pictures in NJ when I was visiting them in October and I incorporated them into a calendar on Vistaprint! He will be really surprised!

Then Megan and I headed on over to Target. I bought some makeup things I needed, found another mercury glass silver candleholder and 4 mercury glass votive candleholders for the mantel and some Christmas Gift tags. I'm going to get a glue pen and write the persons initial on there with the pen and then put Martha Stewart's fabulous silver glitter on it-it should look so beautiful on the packages!

Megan and I then decided we were really tired and shopped out! She came in and visited with John and I for a little bit and then went home. John and I have been doing some odds and ends around the house the rest of the afternoon. I am now going to watch TV and knit with John. What a perfect day!! Hope y'all had a great day too!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Sixth Surrender by Hana Samek Norton

I had the privilege of reviewing this book for Feed Blitz. Here is a little bit about the book and the author:

The Sixth Surrender is a transporting debut novel set in thirteenth century France—a time when chivalry reigned and treachery ruled.

In the last years of her eventful life, queen-duchess Aliénor of Aquitaine launches a deadly dynastic chess game to safeguard the crowns of Normandy and England for John Plantagenet, her last surviving son.

To that end, Aliénor coerces into matrimony two pawns;Juliana de Charnais, a plain and pious novice determined to regain her inheritance, and Gueérin de Lasalle, a cynical, war-worn mercenary equally resolved to renounce his.

The womanizing Lasalle and the plain and pious Juliana are perfectly matched for battle not love, until spies and assassins conspire to reverse their romantic fortunes.

Populated by spirited and intelligent women and executed in flawless period detail, The Sixth Surrender is a compelling love story that heralds the arrival of a major new talent in historical fiction.

About the Author

Hana Samek Norton was born and raised in the (now) Czech Republic where she first learned the difference between a halberd and a hauberk. She currently lives in New Mexico with her husband.

My Review:

"The Sixth Surrender" was a very detailed historical novel. Set during the last years of Alienor of Aquitaine. This novel starts with an unconventional marriage between two people who were so different from each other. Juliana wanted to take back her ancestral home of Tillieres and the only way she could do that is if she got married so her husband can hold the property. Guerin de Lasalle , a mercenary was forced into marrying her and the only reason he agreed to marry Juliana was so he could own the property. He refused to consummate the marriage and wanted to have the marriage annulled.

The plot is multi-layers. It makes you want to read more to find out how it ended. The characters were believable. I think if you love detailed historical fiction this is the book and author for you.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New items on my etsy site!

If you need some retail therapy, I have added some new items to my etsy site! I have also changed some prices and shipping and handling costs of items that I had previously listed. Here are a few of the new things and I'll be adding some things almost daily. Christmas is closer than you think everyone! NOTE:To get to my etsy site just look on the right side of my blog and there is a reference to my site and you just click on that! Enjoy!:

Christmas Tree Copper Wire Earrings



Pat Conroy's New Release

Open Road Media asked me to post about the ebook release Pat Conroy has. The book is called The Boo. I have read alot of Pat Conroy's books and while I haven't read this book I have always liked his writing style. Here is Open Road Media's synopsis of the book:

At the South Carolina military academy, amid the tumult of the 1960s, Cadet Peter Cates is an anomaly. He is a gifted writer, a talented basketball player, and a good student, but his outward successes do little to impress his abusive father. Instead, Cates is mentored by Lt. Colonel Courvoisie, an imposing and inspiring man whom the cadets have nicknamed “the Boo.” But when Cates writes a searing letter condemning the school’s meek response to a stabbing on campus, his bond with the Boo will be threatened as both are forced to confront what it means to be a man of honor.

Set against the richly drawn military school backdrop that Conroy would return to in his bestseller The Lords of Discipline, The Boo is an unforgettable story of duty, loyalty, and standing up for what is right in the face of overwhelming circumstances.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thanksgiving Table Arrangements

I was thinking about how I would decorate my Thanksgiving table the other day and I thought I would look up some ideas. Here are some of the ideas I thought I would share with you:

I think this picture is one of my favorites! The ornamental grasses are just beautiful!

The gold turkeys in this table setting would definitely make a statement!

What a lovely way to give thanks.

I have always loved pheasant feathers! Putting them together with hydrangeas makes a beautiful arrangement. You could use this arrangement later on, it wouldn't just be for Thanksgiving.

This table setting is simple but very elegant. I love the red napkins with the white table cloth!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Our Sunday!

Today was a really nice family day! First we had Church, which the girls and Kevin, Jenny's husband joined us. John was being inducted into the Stephens Ministry today. There was a lovely ceremony at our 11:00 service. Then after church we came back to our house and had lunch with the girls and Kevin. Then Jenny and Kevin left to go to IKEA and I went to Megan's. Her husband is sick with bronchitis. Then Megan and I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond, World Market, Michael's and Costco! We had alot of fun but I'm really tired! Here are some pictures we took at the Church! Yes Jenny dyed her hair red again and it didn't turn out quite the red she wanted!! That girl will never learn-oh well she could have done something worse like green or blue!

Megan, John, Jenny and Kevin

John and I.

I also found out we have a grandchild on the way! Jenny and Kevin are pregnant! I am really praying for them. They have had 3 miscarriages and I am hoping they have a great pregnancy this time. Please keep them in your prayers!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mercury Glass one of my all time favorites!

I have been thinking about how I'm going to decorate the house for Christmas this year and mercury glass items are definitely going to be part of the decorations this year! Mercury glass has that old-time, antique, well-loved look that I want to have around my house. Here are a few suggestions and some pretty pictures of these wonderful items:

I just love votive candleholders. This is definitely a lovely grouping!

I'd love to have this mercury glass lamp on my bedside table. Arranged with a few books and the old clock really makes a complete vignette.

These pink roses are gorgeous just by themselves but put them in a mercury glass vases and they really look stunning! These would look love in a guest room or powder room!

You can use these vases for flowers or layer different items in them for the holidays. Greenery always looks so beautiful, red berries are another festive holiday item to add to the vases for that extra punch of color!

These tealights are offered by Pottery Barn. A part of the proceeds go to St. Jude's Childrens Hospital. What a great offering.

I have never seen a pendant lamp in mercury glass, but I thought this was just gorgeous!

I just love this picture!! Pottery Barn always has the great ones don't they! The mercury glass chunky candlesticks add just a hint of sparkle to the room and not just for the holidays!

I have quite a few mercury glass ornaments that go on my tree every year. I have some old and some new. These are new ornaments in this picture but if you look in antique stores you can almost always find these antique treasures.

I would love to decorate my mantel like this!

This mercury glass bowl holds some antique mercury glass ornaments. I love this idea!! Just so beautiful!!