Starting anew is always a good thing! Here is Vol. 1 of "Artful Living on the Bluff" for you to enjoy. While I am not contributing new material to this blog, please feel free to look around and then visit me at the new and (hopefully) improved "Artful Living on the Bluff" blog at

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Featured on the "Inspirational Beading" blog

One of my beaded bon bon pendants was featured in the Inspirational Beading blog. The author of this great blog is Mortira of sagescupboard on Etsy. She did a collection of red and green jewelry - and it's a beautiful selection! She has some really beautiful items in her shop and they are all eco-friendly (no metals or hard plastics) be sure to make a visit and see her lovely items, like this one: Gaia Pendant


I was thrilled this week to find out that one of my art necklaces had sold on Etsy! "Window on the Garden" will have a new home in Massachusetts - I'm sure the new owner will love it! It's one of my favorite pieces so I'm happy to see it going to someone who will appreciate it but I'm also sad to part with it, too. I suppose alot of artists feel like that...

I have actually had several jewelry sales lately - here are some of the jewelry pieces which have found new homes in the last week or so:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Beaded Bon Bons

I have been busy taking new photos of my jewelry on the new mannequin torso I bought recently. Today was "Bon Bon Day"! I took photos of every beaded bon bon I have available and and slowly getting them posted in my caraway shop on Etsy. Just for something fun, I made a collage of them! Most of these are for sale and they run from $20 to $35 each.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Chocolate and Turquoise

Claire from "Pepper Pi" on Etsy suprised me by featuring Canyonlands in a Chocolate and Turquoise collection on her blog. She makes the sweetest plush characters! Here is a favorite of mine from her shop:

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I'm getting there!!

Well, I'm getting close to the finish line on the pink cuff bracelet I've been working on. I like it better and better all the time - can't wait to finish and take it out for a spin! The leather backing is beautiful deer hide - so luxurious!

Frosty Windows

We had the most amazing frost on one of our windows the other night - it was COLD out! I took some pictures of it to share with you. Click on the pictures to open up the larger version.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Queen's Medallion and Copper Cascade

I have started taking photos of my jewelry on my new "co-worker" and I love how they are turning out! Didn't get too many pictures taken today but did manage to get some new items posted to my caraway shop on Etsy. Stop by to see "Queen's Medallion" and "Copper Cascade".

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A new addition to the household... sort of... :)

After hearing from many Etsy shoppers that they would like to see my jewelry on a "person", I got a mannequin torso to photo my jewelry on. Not having a model at my disposal (I can't afford one anyway!) and finding it difficult to model it myself - I mean, geez... I'd have to get gussied up and do my hair and wear some make-up (ick!) and... so... Here is the new addition to the household. I haven't named her yet. Maybe I should let my husband decide what to call her (I think he likes having some naked boobs hanging around the house!) - tee hee :)

So, while I wait for the snow to melt a little, I will be busy re-photo-ing my beadwork and jewelry on my new co-worker.

The Big Winter Storm

I'm sure I'm about the umpteenth person to blog about the big storm that swept across the country this week but I wanted to share some pictures from yesterday morning. I was going to post these yesterday but got doing other things and it slipped my mind - I'm a little ADHD :-P We got about 11" of snow here in Dubuque and it was beautiful! Of course, I can say that because I didn't have to drive anywhere or be out in it for any length of time. Dan & I did take our traditional walk on Tuesday night while the flakes were flying - we have always gone for a walk, even if it's just around the block - during the first big snowfall of the season.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Quick Peek of the Pink Cuff!

Just a quick peek of the pink cuff bracelet - I hope to get it finished this week sometime! :)

One-of-a Kind Show in Chicago

My mom and I took a trip to Chicago this past weekend and made a stop at the "One-of-a-kind" show at the Merchandise Mart. It was pretty cool! There was so much fabulous artwork (wearable and otherwise) that it was a bit overwhelming. Our feet HUUURRRT when we got done!! Here are some shots from the show - these are actually big, beautiful pictures. Click on them to see them in all their glory - Enjoy!

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Pink is not a color I typically work in. Sometimes I will use it as an accent color with green (I really like green with purple and pink accents!) but I hardly ever make something where pink is the main color.

So here are some in-progress photos of a bead embroidered cuff bracelet I'm working on. It includes several shades of pink with touches of gray and silver. I've done almost as much tearing out as I have beading but I think I'm finally hitting my stride. I'll let you be the judge...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Beaded Bon Bons make perfect gifts!

 What are beaded bon bons?? I'm so glad you asked!

Beaded Bon Bons are affordable, high quality, handcrafted jewelry pieces made using vintage bead cluster earrings as well as bead clusters made by me using some of the same classic jewelry-making techniques of the 40's and 50's. Beaded Bon Bons have vintage charm but with a contemporary twist. Beaded Bon Bons listed as "classic" feature an authentic vintage earring - most with lovely, shabby signs of age and patina. If the piece is labeled as "original" then it was made by me using a variety vintage beads. Priced from $20 - $30, they make great stocking stuffers for the holidays!

I have a nice selection of beaded bon bons available in my caraway shop on Etsy and my 1000 Markets shop. More are being added everyday so be sure to check back!

Got a pair of Grandma's earrings - too beautiful to part with but no one wants to wear them? I can turn her vintage baubles into Beaded Bon Bons made especially for you or a loved one. Custom orders are always welcome!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ink and Sunshine

Amanda Fuller has a great blog. She is a graphic designer from Australia and contacted me to let me know she had featured a vintage scarf from CarawayCache in her post entitled "Ink and Sunshine". She is predicting that combining navy blue and yellow will be a big trend in the coming year. I hope so - the combination is striking!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

My Desk

Working from home is hard. Don't get me wrong, it's so nice to walk into the next room to "go to work" and spend most (if not all) your day in your PJs. But it's hard to stay on-task, to treat it like a "real" job. Sometimes working for yourself has the drawback of not having strictly outlined goals for your days - especially if you are an artist. Spend more time creating?? Sure. But what if I'm not inspired? What if nothing's selling? It's hard to think about making more product if no one seems to want the product you already have available.

Working for yourself is also overwhelming. Facebook, Twitter, blogging, updating the website, posting items in my online stores, marketing, marketing, marketing... AGH!! I'm just so bad at so much of the marketing stuff. Some of those problems are handled with "to-do" lists. I am a great advocate for "to-do" lists. They save me from wasting hours wandering aimlessly through my days without a clue as to what I need to be doing next. I have such mundane tasks like "Eat Breakfast" and "Take Vitamin" or "Take Shower" (yes, unfortunately, I have to remind myself to bathe and eat every once in a while - although personal hygiene is also something you can put on the back burner if you spend most of your days alone in your house and your body will eventually remind you that you are hungry and should really have lunch sometime soon). Anyway... where was I... ? Ah! "To-do" lists. The main problem with those lists is that it's easy to simply move something you don't feel like tackling at the moment to tomorrow's list and then to tomorow's list and ... well, you get the idea. So I end up with items that have an eternal spot on the list and never get done. What I am starting to finally learn is that those undone items cause me an awful lot of stress. Why don't I just do them and get them over with?? They aren't life threatening or anything - just stuff. This is where I think having a more enjoyable workspace will help.

I have been on a quest lately to streamline my days and my workspace. You can see some of my improvements I made to my studio (aka closet) space here. Now I'm on to my actual desk/computer space (aka changing table gotten second-hand from friends - but, hey, whatever works!). I have tried several furniture arrangements, organizational methods and the like. I finally spent the last two days rethinking and setting up my desk space. Maybe my marketing strategies would work better if I had a desk space I actually ENJOYED sitting at. So here is my new space - it's still in development (like everything in my life!). I have a beautiful McCoy pottery planter waiting for the right plant (preferably something which doesn't need a lot of sun and will produce some pretty flowers every once in a while) and there is a big box of vintage fabric that I need to get posted in my vintage shop so it can go to new homes and quit cluttering up mine!

I really like my new space - it's not something you would see in the pages of "Studios" or "Where Women Create" magazines, but I like it because it's mine and filled with things I love. Hanging in the windows are 2 stained glass windows I made several years ago, a beachglass and shell mosaic made from treaures I picked up on the beaches of Dominica, a crystal suncatcher which was a birthday gift from my friend and polymer clay artist Susan Louise. Filling the little bit of wall space to the left of my desk are pieces of art which I enjoy: a pastel of a gerbera daisy by Barb Schmidt (a Christmas present from my husband), a print from Amariah Rouscher, another piece of polymer art from Susan Louise and a sweet collage from Andrew Thornton. Squirrels play in the trees across the street, I have plans to hang a bird feeder so I can enjoy it from my perch and I finally found someplace to hang the pretty lace curtains which have been in my stash for a few years. I know they are actually valances but I don't really care - they are pretty and interesting to look at and can be moved aside when I want a better view out the window.